Tag Archive: Health and wellbeing

Zika Virus – Is it safe to travel?


Zika Virus – is it safe to travel?

Zika – a bad-assed virus? Well yes, it’s not great but according to current research, for most of us it’s only nasty if you (or your partner) is or is trying to get pregnant or if you have any auto-immune diseases.  80% of the rest of us won’t notice symptoms (even if we have picked up the virus) and those of us that fall ill may feel like we have a mild case of flu or conjunctivitis (itchy and gunky eyes).


I’m being asked by potential travellers to destinations such as the Caribbean or South America whether they should still go. An honest answer? It’s up to you. If you’re pregnant or wish to get pregnant in the near future – no. If not, then consider the information available from WHO (The World Health Organisation) and make up your own mind. Me? I’m off to Costa Rica next month. I will take precautions to protect myself and my family from being bitten by the mosquitoes that carry the virus but I’m not cancelling my trip.


Here are some of the most recent facts about Zika but please bear in mind that scientists are discovering more about it each week and please visit your national advice service (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ in the UK) for the most up-to-date guidance.


Currently, the Zika virus is present in the Americas, Caribbean, Cape Verde, Pacific Islands, Thailand and the Maldives.


How do you get the virus?

●      The virus is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes Mosquito

●      The mosquito bites during the day, particularly mid-morning and late afternoon before sunset. It seems to love the feet and ankles and likes living around stagnant water.

●      The mosquito can also transmit the Dengue and/or Chikungunya viruses.

What are the symptoms?

●      For the 20% of us that have symptoms, the most common are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. Other symptoms may include muscle pain and headache.

●      Symptoms usually begin 2-7 days after infection.

●      It’s usually a mild disease lasting a few days or a week and rarely requires hospitalisation.

It apparent that the virus is a very real threat to pregnant women particularly in their first trimester (although there is some risk throughout pregnancy). Whilst the mother may not suffer any symptoms of having caught the virus, there is a potential link with microcephaly in newborn babies.

What should you do to prevent catching Zika?

●      Try your best to avoid getting bitten, however, this is very hard as the Aedes mosquito is active during the day. Wear protective clothing (long sleeves and trousers) and apply mosquito spray regularly – use one that contains DEET.

●      Sleep under a mosquito net.

●      Avoid areas with stagnant water where the mosquitos breed.

●      If you (or your partner) are pregnant or are considering pregnancy in the near future, you are advised not to travel to infected regions.

Please remember that the mozzies have chosen some outstanding countries to live. They are vibrant and exciting place to visit with some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet. You have little reason not to travel unless you are planning or expecting your own bundle of joy.


Useful link:


FitSteps…dance fitness fun for EVERYONE

Newspaper Article:

Since last Summer, FitSteps has been taking over not just Shake & Shuffle’s classes but the whole of the UK – the demand for this addictive fitness class is impressive with the programme not even hitting it’s first Birthday for another few months.

FitSteps has been created by Strictly stars Natalie Lowe, Ian Waite & past contestant Mark Foster. It uses a combination of Latin, Ballroom and fitness techniques so you’d be forgiven if you believed this was a class for just the very fit and coordinated. However, people of all ages and abilities are finding their love for dancing and fitness through FitSteps. Co-Creator, Natalie Lowe said:

“FitSteps is for anyone and everyone. We want this workout to bring people together, so many people love to dance but think they are too old or not good enough to join in. FitSteps has been designed for people that love to dance from 5 years to 95 years old, men and women – absolutely everyone!”

Countless times I have been asked what sort of age group my participants are – a hard question to answer when the programme appeals to so many. The youngest participant we have had in class is 5 years old. The oldest? A fantastic 81 years old! And with every single class there is a vast mixture of ages, abilities and sizes! There is no target audience for FitSteps – it’s accessible to everyone!

We are very proud to receive some great feedback on our classes – relaxed atmosphere, very friendly and countless benefits. As Natalie says below, FitSteps is great for the social aspect, too:

“We want to make people feel like anyone is welcome, we want people to be able to socialise in the classes as well as dance. FitSteps can be done without a partner so we are reaching out to the people who love to dance and could never go to the traditional dance classes where a partner is needed.”

There are no expectations to be met when you come to our FitSteps classes. Any age, any ability welcome – it doesn’t matter if you think you cannot dance or don’t have great coordination. We support and encourage every one of our participants to achieve whatever goal they have. We truly believe FitSteps is for everyone and we will continue to promote that through the community. We want to get as many people moving as possible!

For more details on our classes please take a look at our website:


‘Like’ us on Facebook for all the latest news and updates from FitSteps and the Strictly team!


FitSteps…dance fitness fun for EVERYONE

FitSteps – Fitness That’s Strictly Fun

Bishop’s Stortford and Dunmow saw the launch of brand new
dance fitness class FitSteps this Summer. A fitness class that combines your
favourite Ballroom & Latin steps into a fun workout.

Combining the ‘Strictly’ dance steps with proven fitness techniques, FitSteps makes for a really fun, energetic and effective way to stay fit and keep trim that will appeal to everyone, even those who think they can’t dance. Already, Vicky has taught so many customers to Jive, Cha Cha and Waltz who had initially walked in thinking they had ‘2 left feet’!

A fantastic class that is brilliant for keeping healthy, losing weight, toning up & meeting new friends and that’s just the start of it!

No dancing ability required…just a pair of trainers!

FitSteps is the creation of Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe, and Strictly competitor and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster. Ian
Waite and Natalie Lowe trained a small number of FitSteps Pioneer Instructors this
Summer and Vicky was lucky enough to be one of the first instructors qualified
to teach FitSteps. So, starting 3 classes per week just before the Summer holidays, she was overwhelmed with the number of participants coming through the doors for FitSteps – some once, some twice and some even three times per week! Needless to say, the schedule was updated with another 2 classes in place for September with a strict booking in system. Now, looking forward to January….there’ll be even more FitSteps classes available with Shake & Shuffle!

Go to www.shakeandshuffle.co.uk to see when/where our classes are held. Booking is a must!

So come on, give it ago..
You’ll have such fun, we bet!

Because with Shake & Shuffle..
We smile whilst we sweat!

FitSteps – Fitness That’s Strictly Fun

Hazel Williams, The Osteopath

Hazel Williams Bsc.(Ost) D.O. – Aiming to improve and maintain your general health and well-being as well as giving continual relief from pain wherever possible.



Alan Beadle (BNI) of Saffron Walden – “I would heartily endorse Hazel, both for her sympathetic and subtle approach, but more importantly for the radical result she achieved for me in such a short space of time. ”

Mandy Beaumont of Bishops Stortford – “I have to stop myself sounding slightly evangelical when I talk about the treatments I have received from Hazel’s practice”

Jo Bonsor of Takeley – “At first I was quite sceptical about the benefits of cranial osteopathy in a child of his age” – “Now I truly believe that the treatment Hazel administered helped Milo and released his talent”

Mrs Richards, aged 71 of North London – “I was in agony and the pain relief medication made no difference but after the first osteopathic treatment I noticed a vast improvement” – “I find it a lot easier to move around now”

Catherine Horner of Stansted Mountfitchet – “After a thorough initial assessment (of my frozen shoulder) she worked wonders with her gentle but effective manipulation” – “…the pain decreased and the movement gradually restored”.

Hazel Williams, The Osteopath – Aiming to improve and maintain your general health and well-being as well as giving continual relief from pain wherever possible. from Hazel Williams Bsc.(Ost) D.O. has updated their news.

Lets get SEXY for Santa

Shake & Shuffle are proud to introduce their brand spanking new classes….


These classes are designed to slim your waist, hips and thighs whilst strengthening those all-important core muscles, reducing lower back pain and stiffness.

Powerhoops are weighted and padded making them a lot easier to use than the old-fashioned plastic hula hoops. So, if you have always struggled to get those twirling around your hips (we certainly have!) then this is your chance to get hooping!

Lose inches off your body!

New starter classes before Christmas in Dunmow and Bishop’s Stortford to get you toned and sexy for Santa!

Mondays: 8.30pm Christian Outreach Centre, Bishop’s Stortford

Tuesdays: 8.30pm St Mary’s Primary School, Gt Dunmow

Classes are just £5 plus £1 to hire a Powerhoop (with the option of purchasing your own when you are ready)

Don’t waste time…book in for classes NOW: 07729 262318 – info@shakeandshuffle.co.uk



Lets get SEXY for Santa

A Most Curative New Website

Make those aches and pains go away, visit Hazel Williams the registered osteopath in Stansted. You can find out more about the services offered by Hazel and the success she routinely has for her clients by visiting her new website developed by Toucan Internet LLP

http://hazel-williams.co.uk/ Osteopath in Stansted

Toucan Internet LLP worked in conjunction with Hazel’s creative partner to produce a search engine optimised website with an original creative design that clearly explains how she works and how she achieves results for her patients of all ages and from all walks of life. “At Toucan we’re always pleased to work with other professionals in the creative process as this increases the creative pool of ideas and engenders diversity” explains Simon Thomas Principal Partner @ Toucan Internet

If you think this website will be of interest to your friends and associates please link to it and spread the word.


To find out more about how Toucan Internet LLP can improve your online success, please feel free to contact Simon at the contact points below.

t: 01279 871 694
e: simon@toucanweb.co.uk
w: www.toucanweb.co.uk

Copyright Toucan Internet LLP 2012©. All rights reserved.

A Most Curative New Website

Super Hooper


No longer is the ‘Hula Hoop’ but instead..the POWERHOOP!

Shake & Shuffle are introducing Powerhoop classes to their timetable. Combining old fashioned fun with modern design, Powerhoops give great enjoyment to all who use them yet are fantastic “waist-whittlers”!!

These weighted, padded Powerhoops are a fun and effective way to slim your waist and strengthen your core muscles. They’re weight and large diameter make Powerhoops easy to use, even for those who never succeeded with old fashioned plastic hulahoops (like myself!)

Benefits include:

  • Weight loss/calorie burn
  • Improved coordination and endurance
  • Reduced lower back pain and stiffness
  • Slimmer waist, glutes, hips & thighs

These brightly coloured hoops can work wonders! With regular use – just a few minutes a day – the results will speak for themselves.
Lose inches and lb’s – from one group measured the minimum loss was 1 inch! Some lost up to 4 inches!!

Powerhoops are easily dimantled to store in a small box so they do not take up space. Or, simply stow it behind a sofa for ease – you are more likely to use it if you can see it! Just a few minutes a day, for instance, the ad breaks of your favourite TV show. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a female-only activity. Powerhoops are great for men, women, girls and boys! We have had more men try it out and buy hoops than you’d believe!

At £45, you can have great fun as a family (kids LOVE these hoops!), slim down in time for Christmas and have great fun and laughter during the process! You do not need to own a Powerhoop in order to come to our classes, simply book your place and you can loan a hoop each class!

Please let me know if you are interested in buying a Powerhoop for yourself or maybe for a loved one for a unique Christmas present. They are selling like hotcakes and new orders are going in very soon!

Classes will be up and running very soon, please put your name down ASAP if you are interested in joining! Find us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news on new classes starting…




Vicky Wright

Shake & Shuffle



Super Hooper