High50 http://www.high50.com/us A global community for people over the age of 50. Reach out. Reboot. Read on. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:13:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Top 7 activity holidays in Europe including surfing, horse riding and yoga in Morocco, Spain and Ibiza http://www.high50.com/us/travel/activity-hols http://www.high50.com/us/travel/activity-hols#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:03:43 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75156 paradis-plage-resort-surf-yoga travel-620

Don’t fancy lying on the beach for endless hours? Want to get the family doing something fun together? There’s lots of activities in Europe you can opt in and out of without being tied to a strict itinerary. 

Take a look at the new activity holidays that are mix relaxation, great destinations and new types of health, fitness and fun. 

Riding in Spain: Hacienda Riding Safaris

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Ride through the Spanish countryside and finish your day with a massage or game of tennis on the estate

The Hacienda Riding Safaris take you right into the heart of the Andalusia horse country and Doñana, Europe’s largest national park at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. The park is criss-crossed with trails and ancient bridleways.

After a morning exploring this wonderfully diverse terrain, guests can enjoy traditional Andalusian picnics with local wine and then head to the luxury family-run former olive farm Hacienda San Rafael.  

Hacienda Spain riding holiday

Set between Seville and Jerez, the picturesque hotel offers massages, yoga and tennis

The hotel is located in the beautiful rural Andalucian setting, halfway between Seville and Jerez. There are three swimming pools and a paddle tennis court, while the main building has an air-conditioned library and an honesty bar. Massages and yoga are also available. 

Original Travel offers 3 nights at Hacienda Rafael, from £600 per person bed and breakfast, including all return flights and transfers from the UK.

Surf and yoga in Morocco: Paradis Plage Surfing Holiday

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Paradis Plage on the south-west coast of Morocco

Spice up your yoga holiday with a touch of surfing in Morocco, only a short distance from European shores. Picked by Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that tailor-makes active holidays for clients

Paradis Plage’s Rip Curl sponsored surf school has lessons for all levels that will have you standing up in no time. Located in the coastal region of Agadir in south-west Morocco, Paradis Plage is set away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist crowds. Included in the £880 package is five yoga lessons (75 minutes), five surf lessons and flights.

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There are a variety of watersports and activities on offer

When you’ve had your fill of the waves, drift into the shore to take some time out at the regular yoga classes that run both on the private beach and in panoramic glass pavilions, giving you spectacular views of the north African sands and Atlantic Ocean.

Facing onto a private beach, the hotel and resort offers a variety of activities on offer including kayaking, trekking, group classes, meditation and crossfit. 

Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays which include Fusion Fitness, BodyBreaks and Discover Recover. 

Luxury walking holiday in Dorset: Lulworth Lodge walking holiday

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Guests can choose from longer walks to stunning Durdle Door on the Dorset coast or relax back at the lodge

Brand new for 2015, Lulworth Lodge offers boutique chalet-style accommodation for walkers just metres from Lulworth Cove in Dorset. With miles of scenic paths set along the incredible Jurassic Coast, there are beaches, clifftop walks, Dorset villages and rolling countryside to explore.

Guests can choose from guided or self-guided walks and cycle routes to picturesque spots including Corfe Castle, Studland Bay and the famous ancient rocky arch of Durdle Door.

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Lulworth Lodge has been completely renovated and has a relaxed and sociable ski chalet atmosphere

Originally a mill house, Lulworth Lodge has been renovated and now boasts 12 ensuite bedrooms decorated in a boutique coastal style, two of which are dog-friendly.

Relaxed, friendly and sociable, Lulworth Lodge offers excellent full-board catering options and gives a luxury touch to walking holidays of yesteryear. Packages start from an affordable £149, see HF Holidays for more information.  

Relax and spa at The Scarlett in Cornwall

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The complete spa staycation. Don’t miss the outdoor hot tubs

For the ultimate getaway, spa yourself back to good health at Cornwall’s top adult spa at The Scarlet Hotel. With sweeping views of the beach below, you can unwind in the Canadian outdoor hot tub, take an invigorating plunge into the outdoor seawater pool or take some time out in the meditation room.

Enjoy bed and breakfast for three nights, dinner on two nights and full use of the spa facilities with morning and evening spa classes such as yoga and pilates. Prices start from £530 per person

Family activity holiday in Greece

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The utlimate family resort with enough to satisfy kids and parents. Grandparents go free if you book before 1 May

Unlike other more garish family-friendly resorts, Sani Resort has a variety of luxury accommodation including family suites and villas and a boutique feel. The five-star resort lies on the Kassandra Peninsula and cater for multi-generational trips. Kids clubs are nothing new but on-site paintball, a football academy and bird-watching tours are. For adults, walking tours can be taken across the wetlands and bird sanctuary or stand-up paddle boarding. 

Sani VIP services can also provide you with a yacht and crew for a day, a weekend, or longer.

Renowned for its gourmet dining and seasonal cooking, the hotel offers excellent dining for adults and families. Guests can take a tour around the local farm in Nea Fokea to gain a further understanding about the agricultural history of Halkidiki.

Sani Resort’s youngest farm visitors have the chance to plant their own vegetable at the farm which is then photo documented as it grows and blooms. The images are then sent to the vegetable’s grower as a memory of this experience.

Guests booking the new family suites get four-hours complimentary babysitting service – perfect so parents can enjoy a spa treatment or special dinner.

But perhaps the best bit is the amazing spring deal; grandparents staying stay at Sani Beach Hotel in the two-bedroom family suites can enjoy complimentary accommodation for holidays booked by 1 May.

Stand-up paddle boarding in Ibiza: 38 Degrees North Fusion Fitness

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In laid-back northern Ibiza, this resort offers paddle boarding and a huge range of other activities

Take to the sea on a stand-up paddle board, and explore the hidden bays and turquoise waters of Ibiza. This new exercise craze is easy to take up for beginners and is a great way to spend time on the water.

Set in the quieter northern region of the Balearic island of Ibiza, guests can enjoy daily paddle board excursions on gin-clear Mediterranean waters and an extensive range of activities; including Zumba, meditation and mountain biking. Sunset stand-up paddle board safaris are a favourite among guests. 

Guests at 38 Degrees North have package options incorporating one on one training sessions, yoga classes and spa treatments

Freedom treks: cruise and cycle holidays around Croatia

One of the best features of this site are the sheer amount of different cycling holidays on offer, from destinations all around Europe (the Alps to Ibiza) there’s also gastro cycling tours for foodies, family cycle tours for taking your kids and more advanced routes such as Venice to Porec in Croatia.

We like this guided family tour around the amazing Croatian islands and coastline, which is guided so takes all the hassle out.   

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How To Do San Francisco Like A Local: We Find The Best-Kept Secrets In The Bay Area http://www.high50.com/us/travel/san-francisco-travel-tips http://www.high50.com/us/travel/san-francisco-travel-tips#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 15:07:35 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75760
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Grandview Park’s name doesn’t lie (Photo by Daniel Ramirez)

Cable cars, Victorians, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and Tony Bennett crooning about the heart he left in San Francisco. These are things that might spring to mind when you think of San Francisco. This city has long captured the hearts and minds of tourists, who flock here and line up to see iconic sites like Alcatraz.

Many people fail to take the road less traveled and don’t venture farther than the downtown area and guidebook-prescribed attractions.

Sadly, this means they miss out on experiencing the vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, restaurants and spaces that make the city truly unique.

Here are a few ways you can experience San Francisco like a local and pretend you actually live here:

The Best Brunch Spots in San Francisco

If there are two things San Franciscans are fond of, it’s brunch – and standing in line. Decadent brunch options are abundant in San Francisco – and so are the hordes of people willing to line up for high quality food. If you want to do brunch like a local – but skip the line – check out Home Plate in the Marina/Cow Hollow district. Whether you choose a breakfast classic or a novel dish like potato carrot pancakes, start your Sunday morning (or afternoon) off in a blissful food coma – just like the locals do.

If you’re looking for other brunch options, check out Tartine in the Mission District.  The mouth-watering baked goods here are worth the wait.  The bakery is run by husband and wife culinary duo Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt and offers decadent baked goods (like custard bread pudding) made with organic flour and local eggs.

The historic North Beach area is home to Mama’s - a family-run restaurant that’s been serving up delicious brunch since 1967. People wake up early and line up for heaping portions of dishes like the Monte Cristo sandwich and Crab Benedict. 

Fun fact: Home Plate’s is located in the chic neighborhood of Cow Hollow. Today this area is known for its elegant restaurants and trendy boutiques, but it got its moniker from the fact that it was once home to the city’s dairy farms in the late 1800s.

Climb a Stairway to Heavenly Views

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16th Street tile steps (at 16th and Moraga) include 163 mosaic panels

San Francisco is known for its majestic views. One of the best hidden viewing spots in the city will give you a dose of art, hiking and nature all in one easy step (well, technically, it’s 163 steps – but who’s counting?). The hand-painted 16th Street Tiled Steps are both beautiful and functional. 

Inspired by the Escadaria Selarón Steps in Rio de Janeiro, this staircase was a community collaboration that launched in 2003.

Artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher rounded up a team of volunteers from neighboring communities and the end result was a beautiful stairway that’s one of the best-kept secrets in San Francisco. Various elements are depicted – starting with the earth and the ocean on the lower stairs and ascending to the moon and the sun.

Once you reach the top and step into Grand View Park, you’ll be rewarded with a 360 degree view of San Francisco, with Golden Gate Park, the Pacific Ocean, a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, the downtown skyline, and everything else in between.

Fun fact: Neighborhood locals refer to Grand View Park as “Turtle Hill.” This hill is one of 49 named hills that San Francisco is built on.

Explore the Sunset District

The Inner Sunset district is one of San Francisco’s less well-known neighborhoods. The neighborhood borders Golden Gate Park so it’s a convenient place to stop after admiring the trees.  The Sunset is a residential area with a small-town feel – and its main street, Irving Street, is a foodie paradise.

Treat yourself to dry-spiced chicken wings at San Tung, where people line up and wait for an hour for dinner. Insider tip: You can beat the line by going next door to San Tung 2, which serves the same menu in a more casual setting and without the wait.

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The coveted wings at Sam Tung are worth the wait (Photo by Eric Molina)

Afterwards, pop into the Little Shamrock, the second oldest bar in San Francisco. Photos from 1906 adorn the walls and the bar is filled with friendly regulars, board games and unpretentious charm. Whether you order an Irish coffee (a San Francisco classic) or a margarita, you’ll be guaranteed a good deal.

As their sign boasts “We’re 119 years old and our prices show it!”

Fun fact: The Little Shamrock miraculously survived the 1906 earthquake, which destroyed much of the city and left two thirds of the city’s population homeless. The owners of the pub supplied free lunches to the homeless people who were living in tents across the street in Golden Gate Park.

Best Parks in San Francisco

Photo from Kwong Yee Cheng of Flickr

The Shakespeare Garden in the Golden Gate Bridge Park (Photo from Kwong Yee Cheng of Flickr)

Golden Gate Park is San Francisco’s most famous park – but there are also plenty of smaller parks that are worth a visit. Levi’s Plaza Park, on the Embarcadero, offers a serene respite for harried office workers – and a glimpse into the history behind one of San Francisco’s most famous inventions.

Blue jeans were invented during the Gold Rush by Levi Strauss and his company lives on today. The company’s headquarters are home to a beautiful park filled with willow trees, rocks, rolling green hills and a small stream. There’s also a Japanese Tea Garden – just as beautiful as a similar garden in Golden Gate Park but it’s also one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets. You may find that you have the Zen-like atmosphere all to yourself.

Afterwards, walk down to the Old Ship Saloon, a friendly little pub with a big history. The bar is built on the remains of an old ship dating back to the Gold Rush. Back in 1849, a storm blew the ship over to Alcatraz Island and then it was towed to San Francisco. San Franciscans have always been an enterprising bunch so they cut a door into the hull and turned it into a bar. Legend has it, that during World War II,  the Old Ship Saloon opened a brothel above the bar, to give soldiers a saucy send-off before they shipped out.

Fun fact: The term “shanghai”ing, the practice of slipping mickeys to bar patrons and forcing them to become sailors by shipping them off to sea while they were unconscious,  originated in San Francisco during Gold Rush times. The Old Ship Saloon was one of the busiest shanghai dens of this period. 

 

Most Scenic Restaurants

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Fog Harbor House Fish House’s iconic seafood dish

Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco’s most legendary attractions. Throngs of tourists flock to San Francisco just to walk or bike across the bridge. But if you’d rather relax with a good meal and a glass of wine instead of dealing with the wind (yes, it does get windy up there!), consider dining at a restaurant with a spectacular view.

The motto of the Fog Harbor Fish House is “Every meal is served with a side of the Golden Gate Bridge.” You can enjoy the beautiful view while feasting on classic San Francisco-style seafood dishes like whole-roasted Dungeness crab and clam chowder in a fresh-baked sourdough bread bowl. The seafood is sustainable and the chefs craft new menus daily based on the freshest catches of the day.

Fun fact: One of San Francisco’s most famous seafood dishes is cioppino, a fish stew which first became popular on the docks of Fisherman’s Wharf in the 1930s.

Hit the Beach

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Alameda Beach (photo on Flickr by Ingrid Taylar)

Take a day trip and hop on the ferry to Alameda, an island with a small-town feel. Visit Crown State Memorial Beach – the water is warm and the view of San Francisco is magical. Afterwards, bike or walk along the Gold Coast – Alameda’s original row of millionaire’s houses. San Francisco proper is famous for its Victorians – and while tourist buses drive up to the Painted Ladies of San Francisco, Alameda boasts its own row of architecturally beautiful gems.

Stroll down Grand Street and revel in the vivid colors and details – and marvel at how you have these beautiful streets all to yourself. Then give yourself a pat on the back for being savvier than the other tourists.

Fun fact:

Alameda has been used as a set for many movies, including the Matrix trilogy and Mission Impossible II. And the open space of the decommissioned naval base often serves as a site for MythBusters more dangerous experiments. 

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Two-for-one ticket offer for the Anti-Ageing Health & Beauty Show at Olympia, 16-17 May http://www.high50.com/us/beauty/two-for-one-ticket-offer-for-the-anti-ageing-health-beauty-show-at-olympia-16-17-may http://www.high50.com/us/beauty/two-for-one-ticket-offer-for-the-anti-ageing-health-beauty-show-at-olympia-16-17-may#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:01:50 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75469 Anti-Ageing Show make-up advice

On 16 and 17 May 2015 at Olympia, London, experts in cosmetic treatments, skincare, lifestyle and beauty will be on hand to offer you professional advice on the right treatments for you.

At the Anti-Ageing Show, leading doctors will explain the latest procedures, with demonstrations of innovative treatments such as the 30-minute Soft Suture Facelift, fat-freezing treatments and an acupuncture facelift. You can also:

  • Discover innovative skincare to help you look younger
  • Learn about organic skincare and facial yoga
  • Discover the beauty secrets of celebrities
  • See live demonstrations of the latest eye, dental and skincare treatments 
  • Sample treatments such as the Endymed facial from Revere Clinics
  • Get makeover tips from leading beauticians and make-up artists
  • Visit the Maddisons Unique Gel pop-up nail bar 
  • Discover new body-contouring treatments, such as a five-minute treatment to banish bingo wings
  • Enjoy free fitness classes throughout the day
 
Anti-Ageing Show ticket offer

Until 10 May, High50 readers can buy two standard tickets for £18 (normally £36). Go to the Anti-Ageing Show tickets page to buy, and use the code High50.

Or phone 0844 2097323 to purchase, and quote the promotional code High50,

Extra! Prize draw for Benefit Cosmetics skincare

When you buy, you’ll automatically be entered into a prize draw for a set of b.right Radiant Skincare from Benefit Cosmetics.

This limited edition set of introductory size products gives skin a refreshed, lit-from-within look for healthy looking radiance. It contains six products including including Refined Finish Facial Polish, Triple Performing Facial Emulsion and It’s Potent! Eye Cream.

Benefit Cosmetics prize pack

Terms and Conditions:

The ticket offer closes on 11 May 2015. By following this link to enter the promotion you will be taken to a third party promoter’s website and will no longer be subject to the High50 Terms of Use (and High50 will have no liability to you). Only open to UK residents aged 18-plus.

The Benefit Cosmetics prize draw winner will be drawn at random on 11 May 2015 and notified by email by 16 May 2015. There is no cash alternative.

The prize consists of a b.right Radiant Skincare set containing: foamingly clean facial wash 8.9 g Net wt. 0.3 oz; refined finish facial polish 8.9 g Net wt. 0.3 oz; moisture prep toning lotion; triple performing facial emulsion SPF 15 PA++ 8.9 mL / 0.3 US fl. oz; total moisture facial cream 3.0 g Net wt. 0.1 oz; it’s potent! eye cream 3.0 g Net wt. 0.1 oz.

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Communities of the future: a redesign for the way we live, supporting and involving all ages http://www.high50.com/us/ageofnoretirement/communities-of-the-future-a-redesign-for-how-we-live-pre-and-post-retirement http://www.high50.com/us/ageofnoretirement/communities-of-the-future-a-redesign-for-how-we-live-pre-and-post-retirement#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:01:44 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75189
Ageing Britain_Communities of the future. 620. Photo by Jas Lehal

People power: in this vision of the future, we’ll all be active citizens and caring will be integral

Ageing needs a redesing, with creative thinking at the heart of finding new solutions to the problems associated with growing older. Along with the accompanying design process, creative thinking must be at the heart of how we create a more positive future. 

Creative thinking ought not be held back by ‘knowledge’, which can curtail new ideas. With knowledge comes too much understanding of all the current realities, problems, reasons not to do something and “we can’t”. 

If we rely too much on experts to help answer the questions, we limit the possibilities of unimagined opportunities. Let’s involve a new role, that of the anti-expert.

Designers thrive on new problems and the more difficult the better. They come to the issue fresh, with no fear, with empathy and a desire to make things better. Working together in a common place with a common vision, designers and experts can find those new positive solutions that we need.

How retirement in Britain is changing

The design process has to be key to a world in which we no longer go into full retirement at age 60 or 65. We need to embrace the ‘anything is possible’ attitude. Design is at its core optimistic and designers are trained to be courageous about the future.

We know we need to change the story and see the future as hopeful and optimistic. We have to rethink our future. But we have to move quickly.

Design also puts change in motion. It generates ideas, then prototypes, and while the first iteration might not be perfect it proves that we don’t have to be stuck and there is are new ways.

Through creative thinking and a design process we can quickly rethink some of the biggest challenges we face. This is my vision for the key areas of community and caring:

1. Design new communities around the needs of everyone, supporting fulfilling, purposeful lives 

The co-design and co-development approach must involve all stakeholders and be wrested from control by local authorities and powerful self-serving organisations. Community redesign must be free, fast and dynamic, and unburdened by red tape, policies and guidelines.

Community design must also be boundless and incorporate the needs of all citizens, from birth to 100, regardless of age, ability, health and dependence. Design hubs can help to optimise the provision of education, health, care and employment services and drive seamless integration and accessibility for all.

2. Become active citizens, all shaping dynamic, flexible and resilient communities

UK citizenry is passive, complacent and yet also unsatisfied and disgruntled. Community action is seen as a waste of time, as something that is bound to come up against a brick wall sooner or later. Let’s start to change this, to get people thinking more positively and believing that, together, positive community-based change can happen.

3. Redesign care services and reaffirm the value of caring

The concept of care – the glue that binds families, friends and social networks – has become generally misunderstood, misrepresented and misused. The care industry (social care, care working, long-term residential care) needs to be blue-sky/blank-sheet rethought. The cared-for are too ignored, overlooked, disempowered. We need to enable all citizens to live life to the fullest, in the most supportive and enabling community design.

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Make extra money from the internet: how to start a blog or become an affiliate marketer http://www.high50.com/us/money/how-to-make-money-from-the-internet http://www.high50.com/us/money/how-to-make-money-from-the-internet#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:01:02 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75825
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You can turn the internet into an extra form of income if you think creatively

No doubt you’ve seen countless examples of get-rich-quick schemes over the internet. It’s wise to take these claims with a whole shovel of salt and not pay any heed to them. However, it’s also worthwhile to approach the entrepreneurial opportunities the net offers with an open mind as money certainly can be made online.

Put aside dreams of getting rich in a nanosecond, and instead research the prospects that can create revenue streams in the medium to long term.

How to make a blog successful

Within the digital industry, the buzzword du jour is content. There is a reason for this. Create content that people want to consume and the money will follow. Blogs are the easiest way to get a digital enterprise set up, and if you’re successful, you may attract brands who want you to review their products, and even advertisers who will spend money with you.

However, most blogs fail. They can be set up with a domain that’ll cost you a few pounds, and a few clicks of a WordPress template. This low barrier to entry is partly the reason why they fail in their hundreds of thousands.

But it also offers bloggers with intent their largest opportunity. People start them with great enthusiasm, but they fizzle out very quickly. Add consistency to the content you produce, and you’re on to a winner.  

You’ll grow an audience of readers by having a point of view, of saying something with meaning. Your blog might be funny or it might be serious, but it needs to be authentic. 

Once you have your audience in place, which you do with regular content updates and linking to your content on social media platforms and other blogs, the advertisers will most likely find you. 

How to attract brands to your blog

There is no harm in putting together a page on your blog explaining how brands can work with you. Would you be prepared to place a banner on your blog for a monthly fee? Or perhaps you’ll include a link in your content to the advertiser’s site. 

Maybe you’ll review their product for them and write it up for your audience. Going back to the authenticity point, blogs enjoy a trust and reputation among their readers that the established media can only dream of. 

Readers accept that blogs can turn into businesses, but don’t forsake the integrity you build up for advertising revenue. Incorporate your revenue stream into your blog in a way that doesn’t jar with your readers, and create an advertising policy upfront, even before you have an audience.

Clara, 57, found her blog boosted her income, but not through the established advertising model. She loved eating out and started a food blog, but it wasn’t focused on the food only: it looked at the wider dining experience each restaurant provided.

“I cover everything from hamburger joints to fine dining restaurants,” Clara says. “And I mean everything. Are their toilets clean? Do they listen when I say no ice in my drink? Am I put at a table by the kitchen if I dine on my own?”

Over three years, Clara’s witty style caught the eye of an editor for an online magazine, and she was offered a regular freelance gig as a column writer for the publication. 

Affiliate marketing

Setting up as an affiliate is a proven revenue driver. Being an affiliate means you promote a brand’s products or services by linking to them on your site, and when a reader clicks on your link and buys something, the brand pays you a commission. 

It’s known as referral-based marketing and just about every brand has an affiliate program since, for them, they’re only paying commissions based on proven sales. 

Clickbank is the world leader in providing products that are part of affiliate programs. But they are not the only game in town. Most brands offer their goods through an affiliate program, either their own or through an established affiliate platform. 

There are many video tutorials on how to set up an affiliate business on YouTube and various forums on the internet. 

Clifford, 54, set up his own affiliate business by creating a website that reviewed the 25 best bingo sites. He evaluated their bonus offers, how easy it was to navigate around the site, the other players he met in the bingo chat rooms, and how easy or difficult it was to win. 

“Visitors to my website were slow at first, but as I added more and more content, I saw those numbers increase,” he says.

“It was easy to set up links to the relevant bingo rooms and nothing beats the thrill of waking up in the morning to see how many new players have opened bingo accounts through the evening.”

That’s a key attraction for setting up an affiliate business: once the work is done in terms of setting up the site, the enterprise becomes a passive income stream. 

Referral-based marketing: low-cost and low-risk

Another attraction about setting up an affiliate site or blog is that both are low-risk. You don’t need lots of start-up capital or to focus all your energies on building them.

Yes, you’ll need to devote some time to getting your online business off the ground, and you’ll need to be regular about it. However, you can do this while still employed in your current job. 

There is an abundance of information available on how to set up a successful blog or affiliate business, and both can be done from your existing computer for only a few pounds’ investment. The rewards can be great though, and you could find yourself becoming the next big publisher on the block.

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What Is Electromagnetic Therapy And Can It Treat Long-Term Back Pain? We Put It To The Test http://www.high50.com/us/health/what-is-electromagnetic-therapy-and-can-it-treat-long-term-back-pain-we-put-it-to-the-test http://www.high50.com/us/health/what-is-electromagnetic-therapy-and-can-it-treat-long-term-back-pain-we-put-it-to-the-test#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:20:29 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75827
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Back pain caused 31 million working days to be lost in the UK in 2013

If lying on a mat for eight minutes, morning and evening, provided natural pain relief, improved your circulation and accelerated the healing of tissues and damaged bone, would you try it?

What if the same mat also improved your sleep, gave you more energy, raised your mood and even (whisper it) boosted the quality of your skin and hair? Tempted now?

These are some of the claims made for the EMPpad Omnium1, a body-length mat that uses pulsed electromagnetic field (PERF) technology to optimise the way individual cells function in the body.

Osteopath Samuel Maddock of Self Health Group, which launched Omnium1 into the UK, describes the product as “jump-starting the healing process at cellular level”.

It sounded too good to be true and, frankly, a bit of wacky ‘science’. But as a chronic pain sufferer, I wanted to give it a go. An over-sensitised nervous system combined with decades of sedentary computer work has left me struggling with RSI in my arms and hands.

I have frequent neck and backache and sporadic pain in my fingertips. To combat this, I’ve been working with a neuro-specialist, have frequently resorted to physiotherapy and tried everything from yoga to acupuncture.

Although I’ve made progress, I still have off days. A lot of the time I avoid typing completely and use voice recognition software to dictate articles.

Electromagnetism to treat pain

Magic as this solution sounded, I couldn’t help feeling a sceptical. Was there any solid science to back this? Reassuringly, yes.The concept of using electromagnetism for pain relief dates back to the 19th century.

It has since been developed by NASA. It has been used to improve the performance of racehorses. Self Health Group says that the Omnium1 is the result of 15 years of research by Swiss scientists.

The mat is powered by a super-charged Android tablet, making it mobile and easy to use at home. The tablet has an inbuilt biorhythm clock that adjusts the strength of the electromagnetic frequency to suit the time of day. This is how it can make you both bright and alert in the morning and sleepy in the evening.

Does the Omnium1 mat work?

At first, lying on the mat seemed to have no effect. The vibrations were hardly noticeable. I kept sitting up to check that it was properly connected.

It was only after a couple of sessions that muscles I hadn’t even realised were tense started relaxing. But relax they did. I felt my jaw easing and the front of my thighs softening. At times I felt I was melting into the mat.

I also notices changes in sensitive or damaged regions of my body. I could feel blood rushing through my fingers, and painful or aching muscles becoming warm.

At this stage I was not feeling energised: the mat made me want to sleep, regardless of the time of day.

Health_chronic back pain_electromagnetic therapy_EMPpad Omnium_620x349

Using the Omnium1

According to Maddock, these were signs that my body was going into healing mode. And in later weeks I did feel more alert.

Using the mat for eight minutes a day

I enjoyed building ‘mat time’ into my daily routine. And my attitude changed. At first I was multitasking: reading, watching TV, checking emails and impatiently waiting for the eight-minute session to end.

But best results are achieved with low levels of stimulation, and I soon began to look forward to doing nothing at all, dimming the lights and listening to soft music. My nightly sessions gradually expanded to 25 minutes before I rolled into bed.

Omnium1 sparks a different response in whoever is using it, and you’ll need some experimentation to make it work for you. Chronic pain sufferers generally benefit from starting on lower intensities. Those with no long-term issues can use higher settings immediately.

The tablet also has to be operated with care: using a high frequency setting at night, as I accidentally did, will keep you wired until early morning.

Eight weeks into my trial, I started to sneak in extra sessions in the middle of the day, experimenting with another accessory, the Omnipad – roughly the size of a coffee table book – to target my hands and back.

Effect on my joint pain 

I can’t say that the Omnium1 boosted my mood, although I did welcome the enforced mindfulness sessions that it brought. Unexpectedly, my skin began to look plumper.

After three months, I was surprised to find my hair more difficult to manage. Amazingly – and this is something I can hardly believe – it appears to be growing faster and slightly thicker than before.

But for me the most welcome result was the positive improvement in my hands. Ten weeks into the trial, joint pain in my knuckles and fingers all but disappeared.

Two weeks after sending the mat back, my hands feel much improved, although some twinges of pain are beginning to return. I’m typing this feature instead of dictating it.

I’m hearing positive stories from other people. Retired music business manager Judy used the Omnium1 while recovering from foot surgery. Her surgeon was “amazed” at how quickly the swelling had reduced and the bones knitted together.

Michelle, who is 39 and has type 1 diabetes, says that the mat is not only helping tissue repair but is having a positive impact on the way her body regulates blood sugars.

The Omnium1 is no substitute for all the usual things we need to do to stay healthy: follow a good diet, stretch and exercise regularly. And there are some restrictions: it should not be used by children or pregnant women, nor if you are epileptic or have an electronic device such as a pacemaker fitted.

It’s certainly not a quick fix for every ailment and would be an expensive fad. But if you are committed to using it over the long term, and building it into your daily schedule, you could see some interesting results.

Without the mat, my morning and evening routines seem strangely empty now.

The EMPpad Ominium1 costs from £2,315

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Who will actually vote? It’s going to be the over-50s General Election – and politicians must listen to us http://www.high50.com/us/life/over-50s-the-age-group-most-likely-to-vote-in-may-general-election http://www.high50.com/us/life/over-50s-the-age-group-most-likely-to-vote-in-may-general-election#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:02:01 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75624

So those were the manifestos then. Just a matter of weeks to go until the 2015 General Election, and God help us all. Amid the blizzard of words and images that will form a wall of white noise up until 6 May, perhaps the most crucial question of all hardly gets a look in: who is actually going to vote? 

By this I mean: who is physically going to turn up at the booth and put their cross by a name in May? And, let’s be clear a lot of us won’t. (I’ll get on to who we might vote for later.)

The General Election: who will vote?

Do you know what the UK’s voter turnout at general elections is? In the last three elections it has veered between 59.4 per cent in 2001, 61.4 per cent in 2005 and 65.1 per cent last time around in 2010.

This is a huge slump on the 71.4 per cent that brought in the Blair era in 1997 and the 77.7 per cent who saw in John Major in 1992.

The post-war record? 1950, with 83.9 per cent. It really was another century.

If the last election is anything to go by, two-thirds of us will vote. Which is why recent Populus research into voting habits makes such fascinating reading. The percentage of people that is certain to vote is a shockingly low 54 per cent. It’s even lower among women, at 49 per cent.

High50′s 50+ Manifesto in full

That’s notable enough, but consider this: only 35 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds say they are absolutely certain to vote; and only 43 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds. That’s a hell of a lot of younger voters who simply will not vote.

Contrast this with these numbers: 59 per cent of 45 to 54-year-olds, 60 per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds and a healthy 71 per cent of over-65s are adamant that they will vote. But don’t just take the Populus poll’s word for it.

The over-50s’ election: 85% will vote and 34% are floating voters

Last year High50 published the results of our own survey (conducted with Research Now), which found that 85 per cent of 50 to 65-year-olds say they always or nearly always vote. That ‘nearly’ being a crucial adjective. It makes the constant courting of the young – and the daft campaign to give 16-year-olds a vote that they don’t want and won’t take up – seem laughable, bizarre even.

In our 50+ Project we also found that 48 per cent of 50 to 65-year-olds have switched party allegiance in their lives and a stunning 34 per cent are undecided as to for whom they will vote for in May. 

However, 48 per cent believe we should quit the EU, 49 per cent that there should be a new quota on immigration, and 27 per cent that immigration should be stopped altogether.

Perhaps surprisingly, then, the Populus poll found that UKIP would get 13 per cent of the vote if it were to take place tomorrow. Labour was on 35 per cent, the Conservatives 35 per cent, LibDems nine per cent and the Greens six per cent. So there is clearly still all to play for. –

A manifesto for the middle-aged

So, what chance that the parties will stop flirting with those who will not vote and focus more on those who will? Well, being cynical about it, be prepared for a whole raft of announcements regarding pensioner benefits closer to election day. They won’t want to have announced them further out. Well, you know older people and their memories…

But, what about the 45 to 64-year-olds who form a large part of the ‘squeezed middle’ and who have taken the brunt of so many of the austerity policies over the past five years?

All the parties need a manifesto for the middle-aged; not just words they put in a document to win votes in May, but something far more profound: a strategy that demonstrates a basic understanding of the huge demographic changes taking place in a Britain where 41 per cent of us will be over 50 by the year 2020.

Sadly, as you have seen from this week’s party manifestos, it’s unlikely to happen, particularly given the Punch and Judy nature of our adversarial, short-term voting system.

So High50 will provide one instead. Today we launch our own 50+ manifesto outlining a response to those seismic demographic shifts. Let us know what you think in the Comments or on Facebook.

What you, the over-50 voter, wants

You can also see in the video above what our generation wants from this election. When we took to the streets to ask, a focus on the NHS came out top, followed by evening out the divide between rich and poor, and education for our children.

Many called for a clampdown on people who evade tax and increase the gap between society’s wealthiest and poorest, and for those who own more than one property to be taxed more heavily. 

Most people were already decided on who they are going to vote for, and this tended to be the party they have always supported. 

Who will win is likely to be a close-run thing, and most predicted a coalition government, with Labour possibly doing a deal with the Liberal Democrats.

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High50′s 50-point manifesto for the 50+ voter: what the age group most likely to vote wants http://www.high50.com/us/life/manifesto-for-older-voters-2015-election-what-over-50s-want-for-society http://www.high50.com/us/life/manifesto-for-older-voters-2015-election-what-over-50s-want-for-society#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:01:54 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75630
General Election UK 2015. 50+ Manifesto. 620 Photo from Stocksy

More of us will be going to the polls than any other age group to say what we want for society

- There are almost 24 million people over 50 in the UK
- That’s 44% of the 18+ adult population
- 89% of people 65+ say they will definitely vote
- Only 52% of 18 to 24-year-olds say they will definitely vote
- It’s the High50 election, and this is our manifesto

Workplace

1. A nationwide programme to educate employers about the value of retaining experienced workers. Business In The Community estimates that there one million jobs for 50 to 65-year-olds have been lost since the recession as companies cut “expensive” older workers.

2. A national programme of 50+ internships. A few companies, including Barclays, High50 and others, have a 50+ intern scheme.

3. A re-evaluation of the merits of potential job sharing and other flexible working initiatives, particularly home-working. ‘Older’ workers may still want to work, but perhaps not always 40+ hours a week.

4. National Insurance incentives or tax breaks could be introduced to incentivise employers to take on staff over 50, often those who are long-term unemployed.

5. Funding for a national initiative around reverse mentoring, particularly with regard to social media and other technology.

Business entrepreneurs

6. As more people start businesses in their 50s than any other decade of life, and more of them succeed, it’s time for a specific advice programme tailored towards 50+ entrepreneurs.

7. A reappraisal of the difficulties would-be over-50 entrepreneurs face in getting business loans.

8. A new financial services code of code of content. No more excuses.

9. A new focus on technology education or re-education for older entrepreneurs and those returning to the workplace (for example, coding, SEO and in-depth knowledge of social media as business tools).

Watch our High50 Vox Pops on the 2015 General Election

 
Pensions and investment

10. Help for people to understand the new pension regulations, addressing head-on the lack of comprehension among the general public. This needs to go beyond Pension Wise.

11. Further legislation regarding data protection and cold-calling to help protect older people from potential abuse, e.g. simple abuse-reporting systems . There also has to be a widespread awareness campaign in this area.

12. The already much-misunderstood subject of ‘annuities’ has to be explained better and made more attractive, particularly given the recent announcements.

13. A new series of checks for those who are at risk of blowing all their pension money.

14. A rethink of traditional savings plans so that there is a raft of products; for example, with the potential for higher rates for older savers. Older savers have been hit badly since the recession, particularly given the lack of movement on interest rates.

Death and inheritance

15. A major education programme around the subject of wills, tax and inheritance.

16. Where are all the new inter-generational shared ownership initiatives that would help parents to help their children on to the property ladder?

17. A new flexibility around area of digital legacies, which necessitates the likes of Facebook and Apple recognising their sentimental and even financial value.

18. The thorny subject of funeral planning needs to be raised nationally in a sensitive but matter-of-fact way.

19. Government exploration of the possibility of excluding the family home from future inheritance tax. Readjust inheritance tax thresholds along with house price inflation.

Click here to download the full High50 manifesto

 
Housing and property

20. A new approach to stamp duty that in particular introduces incentives or breaks that allow 50+ to downsize or ‘rightsize’. Perhaps it’s abolishing stamp duty for over-65s, or introduce a one-off one-move amnesty.

21. Explain the new Help to Buy ISA initiative. It is little known, let alone understood.

22. A government information and advice campaign on downsizing, rightsizing and their alternatives. It is badly needed as the property crisis intensifies.

23. New initiatives surrounding the subject of equity release. Lower the minimum age from 55 to 50.

24. A whole new range of inter-generational mortgages.

25. A complete overhaul of the rules surrounding buy-to-let and let-to-buy and around the issue of second homes.

26. A new banking initiative to make it easier for over-50s to get mortgages.

27. Build 200,000 new homes. Full stop. Offer developers incentives to build on brown field sites.

28. Thousands of new homes suitable for 50+ ‘rightsizers’, downsizers etc. In short, a different type of housing stock to accommodate the different requirements of an ageing population. This could mean new-style communities for ‘grown-ups’ that are most definitely not retirement villages, nor hippy communes.

Ageism

29. A new government campaign to stop ageism being the last acceptable ‘–ism’ in society. Further, it can’t be condescending or patronising, particularly in its choice of imagery.

30. New employment legislation to help prevent ageism in the workplace and recruitment, while recognizing that legislation can only do so much to change public awareness and attitudes.

31. Major new research to understand how people change as they age. Not just at the time we physically look older, after 60, but what happens to us around 50 and menopause.

Care for the elderly, our parents and others

32. Greater understanding and respect for carers enshrined in employment legislation. Including further financial relief and support for full-time carers.

33. New rules to help prevent the Government literally or metaphorically ‘grabbing’ property in lieu of subsidised care costs. Care assessment procedures to be overhauled, speeded up and have nationally benchmarked standards applied.

34. A rethink on the subject of how to free up cash to help pay for care. For example, tax-free withdrawals from pensions under new rules or new tax-free care savings plans.

35. A new national approach towards mental health care, giving it the same priority as physical care. This applies not only to issues like Alzheimer’s, but to mental health and wellbeing, from stress and anxiety to the menopause.

36. A new approach to safeguarding the elderly in care – perhaps new national guidelines and standards.

Health and care

37. As life expectancy rates continue to rise, there is a new tide of depression and loneliness among ageing men in particular (they lack female friendship networks). This needs to be acknowledged and catered to. Make care in the community meaningful , for example by bringing back home visits by GPs.

38. Menopause-related issues need to be pushed up the health agenda and taken more seriously, in both the home and the workplace. The M-word has to be taken more seriously as a life event and not left unspoken – just as pregnancy, paternity leave and childbirth are. Employers and co-workers alike need educating.

39. Further develop a huge increase in health awareness, particularly prevention, in an attempt to head off some of the massive future costs of an ageing, unhealthy population on the NHS. A renewed focus on smoking, drinking, obesity and exercise and the dangers of sedentary lifestyles. A new focus on ‘small steps towards big changes’.

Benefits

40. Repeal the iniquitous bedroom tax.

41. A fundamental re-evaluation of the Carers’ Allowance, and at the very least safeguard it from cuts.

42. Safeguard the winter fuel allowance and other currently universal pensioner benefits.

43. Longer-term planning around the state pension and linking it to real-terms RPI.

Government

44. A referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU ASAP. No ifs or buts.

45. As Scotland, NI and Wales get ever more self-determination, a new debate on the role of non-English MPs’ ability to influence English law.

46. A sensible, rational national debate around the subject of immigration quotas, without the very idea being deemed racist.

Transport

47. Safeguard the freedom pass and other travel discounts, both for the economy and the environment.

48. Rethink HS2. It is simply not needed. There are so many other things that could be done with the £50bn, ranging from a massive public health awareness and prevention programme to workplace re-education initiatives for 50+ employees to a new approach to co-funding carers.

49. A new graded fuel tax with discounts for low-mileage users.

50. Freeze or even scrap airport duty. It is prohibitively expensive for the 50+ consumer who takes several holidays a year and is therefore harmful to the travel economy.

 

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What will it be like to live until 100? A four-point plan to evolve education, careers and life skills http://www.high50.com/us/ageofnoretirement/living-until-100-new-ideas-about-life-stages http://www.high50.com/us/ageofnoretirement/living-until-100-new-ideas-about-life-stages#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:01:44 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75216

Above: Anne Karpf, author of How to Age, talks at last year’s Age of No Retirement? forum

Something that comes up again and again in conversations we have at The Age of No Retirement, the campaigning collaborative that I co-founded, is the concept of “the singular life”; the idea that each of us possesses only one, very precious, inexchangeable life.

Everyone who is older was once younger, and the majority of younger people will, with the passage of time, become old.

Life never stands still and we are all constantly transitioning from one set of circumstances, opportunities, relationships and challenges to another. Life is not a simple set of linear sequential steps through childhood, education, work, retirement and old age.

Life is also longer and healthier than is has ever been before. More than half of babies born today can expect to reach their 100th birthday. That is ten decades of life: a full century to pack with experiences and achievements.

Education won’t be just for the young

Life in the modern global technology-led world requires a continuous reinvention of oneself to adapt and flex in accordance with such a rapidly-changing world. Education can no longer cease at the age of 18 to 25 and career counselling cannot happen just once in a lifetime during one’s teenage years.

A 30-year job-for-life has almost become an absurd notion, as today’s graduates transition from job to job every two years in search of the breadth of experience and dynamism required by modern corporates.

As jobs and careers become more flexible and the concept of retirement continues to be eroded, workers will increasingly need to access training, education and coaching on an ongoing basis.

It’s not just about work, it’s about all of life. English and Maths are taught at school, but ‘life’ is somehow completely overlooked. A healthier, more inclusive and expansive discussion is required right from the earliest opportunities at school and throughout life. This is important in exploring life’s challenges and transitions, and developing the resilience, skills, networks and resources to successfully overcome all that life can throw at you.

Below are four ideas and initiatives that I think warrant further consideration, and development into impactful action plans.

1. A whole-life approach to education: to design, develop and implement life training and support services to create and sustain engaged UK citizens throughout life. The creation of lifelong citizenship should involve numerous organisations and influencers in order to identify the spectrum of educational, coaching, mentoring and counselling services that may be required to prepare and support UK citizens along a 100-year life.

2. Better equip our youth with the life skills (resilience, adaptability, flexibility and creativity) they will require for a successful life and a fulfilling career.

3. Build on the excellent work of the Midlife Career Review, a piloted initiative that has demonstrated positive results for employers and employees about what happens after 50. Explore how we can extend and apply the principles throughout life and not just after the age of 50.

4. Build on the excellent work of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, exploring how to integrate ‘life-transitioning’ services into the aforementioned plans, services and citizenship toolkits to build resilience and preparedness, and avoid crisis intervention.

Weekly newsletter

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What is electromagnetic therapy and can it treat long-term back pain? We put it to the test http://www.high50.com/us/health/what-is-electromagnetic-therapy-and-can-it-treat-back-pain http://www.high50.com/us/health/what-is-electromagnetic-therapy-and-can-it-treat-back-pain#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:01:55 +0000 http://www.high50.com/?p=75606
Health_chronic back pain_electromagnetic therapy_Stocksy_620x349

Back pain caused 31 million working days to be lost in the UK in 2013

If lying on a mat for eight minutes, morning and evening, provided natural pain relief, improved your circulation and accelerated the healing of tissues and damaged bone, would you try it?

What if the same mat also improved your sleep, gave you more energy, raised your mood and even (whisper it) boosted the quality of your skin and hair? Tempted now?

These are some of the claims made for the EMPpad Omnium1, a body-length mat that uses pulsed electromagnetic field (PERF) technology to optimise the way individual cells function in the body.

Osteopath Samuel Maddock of Self Health Group, which launched Omnium1 into the UK, describes the product as “jump-starting the healing process at cellular level”.

It sounded too good to be true and, frankly, a bit of wacky ‘science’. But as a chronic pain sufferer, I wanted to give it a go. An over-sensitised nervous system combined with decades of sedentary computer work has left me struggling with RSI in my arms and hands.

I have frequent neck and backache and sporadic pain in my fingertips. To combat this, I’ve been working with a neuro-specialist, have frequently resorted to physiotherapy and tried everything from yoga to acupuncture.

Although I’ve made progress, I still have off days. A lot of the time I avoid typing completely and use voice recognition software to dictate articles.

Electromagnetism to treat pain

Magic as this solution sounded, I couldn’t help feeling a sceptical. Was there any solid science to back this? Reassuringly, yes.The concept of using electromagnetism for pain relief dates back to the 19th century.

It has since been developed by NASA. It has been used to improve the performance of racehorses. Self Health Group says that the Omnium1 is the result of 15 years of research by Swiss scientists.

The mat is powered by a super-charged Android tablet, making it mobile and easy to use at home. The tablet has an inbuilt biorhythm clock that adjusts the strength of the electromagnetic frequency to suit the time of day. This is how it can make you both bright and alert in the morning and sleepy in the evening.

Does the Omnium1 mat work?

At first, lying on the mat seemed to have no effect. The vibrations were hardly noticeable. I kept sitting up to check that it was properly connected.

It was only after a couple of sessions that muscles I hadn’t even realised were tense started relaxing. But relax they did. I felt my jaw easing and the front of my thighs softening. At times I felt I was melting into the mat.

I also notices changes in sensitive or damaged regions of my body. I could feel blood rushing through my fingers, and painful or aching muscles becoming warm.

At this stage I was not feeling energised: the mat made me want to sleep, regardless of the time of day.

Health_chronic back pain_electromagnetic therapy_EMPpad Omnium_620x349

Using the Omnium1

According to Maddock, these were signs that my body was going into healing mode. And in later weeks I did feel more alert.

Using the mat for eight minutes a day

I enjoyed building ‘mat time’ into my daily routine. And my attitude changed. At first I was multitasking: reading, watching TV, checking emails and impatiently waiting for the eight-minute session to end.

But best results are achieved with low levels of stimulation, and I soon began to look forward to doing nothing at all, dimming the lights and listening to soft music. My nightly sessions gradually expanded to 25 minutes before I rolled into bed.

Omnium1 sparks a different response in whoever is using it, and you’ll need some experimentation to make it work for you. Chronic pain sufferers generally benefit from starting on lower intensities. Those with no long-term issues can use higher settings immediately.

The tablet also has to be operated with care: using a high frequency setting at night, as I accidentally did, will keep you wired until early morning.

Eight weeks into my trial, I started to sneak in extra sessions in the middle of the day, experimenting with another accessory, the Omnipad – roughly the size of a coffee table book – to target my hands and back.

Effect on my joint pain 

I can’t say that the Omnium1 boosted my mood, although I did welcome the enforced mindfulness sessions that it brought. Unexpectedly, my skin began to look plumper.

After three months, I was surprised to find my hair more difficult to manage. Amazingly – and this is something I can hardly believe – it appears to be growing faster and slightly thicker than before.

But for me the most welcome result was the positive improvement in my hands. Ten weeks into the trial, joint pain in my knuckles and fingers all but disappeared.

Two weeks after sending the mat back, my hands feel much improved, although some twinges of pain are beginning to return. I’m typing this feature instead of dictating it.

I’m hearing positive stories from other people. Retired music business manager Judy used the Omnium1 while recovering from foot surgery. Her surgeon was “amazed” at how quickly the swelling had reduced and the bones knitted together.

Michelle, who is 39 and has type 1 diabetes, says that the mat is not only helping tissue repair but is having a positive impact on the way her body regulates blood sugars.

The Omnium1 is no substitute for all the usual things we need to do to stay healthy: follow a good diet, stretch and exercise regularly. And there are some restrictions: it should not be used by children or pregnant women, nor if you are epileptic or have an electronic device such as a pacemaker fitted.

It’s certainly not a quick fix for every ailment and would be an expensive fad. But if you are committed to using it over the long term, and building it into your daily schedule, you could see some interesting results.

Without the mat, my morning and evening routines seem strangely empty now.

The EMPpad Ominium1 costs from £2,315

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