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We’ve Been Awarded Feefo's Platinum Trusted Service Award!

Posted Friday 22 January 2021 14:05 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

Exciting news! We’ve been recognised for our excellent customer service and awarded with Feefo’s ‘Platinum Trusted Service Award!’.

What Is The Platinum Trusted Service Award?

Feefo’s Platinum Trusted Service Award “recognises those businesses that go above and beyond to provide a consistently excellent service year after year”.

To win this award, there are two bits of criteria:

  • Win the Gold Trusted Service Award for three consecutive years
  • Achieve a Feefo service rating of at least 4.5 out of 5

This Platinum award has been years in the making. We couldn’t have done it without the endless hard work from the Express Pharmacy team and the amazing support from our customers!

What Does This Mean For Our Customers?

We all know that reading reviews helps to gain trust and confidence in a product or service. This is why we use Feefo, as it allows customers to get as honest as they like when leaving a review. Having this Platinum Service Trust Award proves that we deliver exceptional customer service no matter what; that we are a pharmacy you can trust.

Thank You!

From old to new, thank you so much to all of our customers for getting us to where we are today. We strive for excellence here at Express Pharmacy, and this award from Feefo has helped to prove just that. Here’s to many more years of giving you the best service possible.

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How to Stop Your Glasses Fogging Up When Wearing a Mask

Posted Friday 22 January 2021 09:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

We’re living in very strange times - if you told us back in 2019 that we’d have to wear face masks in public places and keep our distance from loved ones, we would have never believed you! But while the world has changed and regulations remain in place, some people have a harder time adjusting than others. That’s right - we’re talking about the glasses wearers who can’t stop fogging up when wearing a mask!

Wearing a mask without your glasses fogging up has become quite the challenge, but don’t worry. This guide will uncover some helpful tips that’ll put the days of fog behind you.

Why Do Your Glasses Fog Up When Wearing A Mask?

Have you ever noticed that your glasses steam up when in an incredibly hot or cold room? A similar reaction occurs when you wear a mask. As you breathe when wearing a mask, the warm air travels upwards towards your glasses. Your glasses are naturally cooler than your warm breath, causing the lenses to steam up. If this problem persists, the steam creates moisture, resulting in the glasses slipping down your face.

How To Stop Your Glasses Fogging Up When Wearing A Mask

Luckily, there are some things that you can do to prevent your glasses from steaming up. While these tips may feel unnatural at first, they will soon become a part of your everyday routine. And, before you know it, the following tricks will feel just as natural as wearing a mask does now.

1. Tighten Your Mask’s Ear Loops

As mentioned previously, the main reason as to why your glasses steam up is because your warm breath escapes from the top of the mask. To prevent this from happening, you need to create a seal. One of the easiest ways to do this is by tightening your mask.

If you find that your mask doesn’t fit snugly on your face and seems to have a lot of gaps, twist the ear loops into an ‘X’ shape before hooking them around your ears. This will help to pull the mask closer to your face, closing off the gap that causes all of the problems. Just remember to be gentle with this process - having a mask sit too tightly may irritate your ears and lead to red marks.

2. Ensure The Mask Fits Snugly On Your Nose

Similarly to the previous point, you also need to ensure the mask fits snugly on your nose. If the mask is loose around your nose, it’ll be near impossible to close the gap where warm air escapes.

Securing your mask around your nose is very easy if you wear a surgical face mask. Surgical face masks have a wire around the nose area so that you can mould the mask to the shape of your face. Press firmly on the wire until it closes the gap. Some people find that using a small bit of surgical tape helps to keep the mask in place if there is no wire.

3. Clean Your Glasses

This is a nice and easy tip. Sometimes, as simple as it may sound, glasses appear cloudy when they haven’t been cleaned. The accumulation of grime results in a hazy lens, and if it’s been like this for quite some time, you might not even notice how dirty the lens has got!

To prevent extra cloudiness from a dirty lens, clean your glasses regularly with glasses cleaner. A simple wipe on each lens will get rid of any build-up, leaving you with crisp vision. We highly recommend getting into a good lens cleaning routine, especially now that we have to pay extra caution to sanitisation.

4. Get New Frames

As you have probably realised by now, the main way to prevent your glasses from fogging up is by keeping them firm on your face. If you’ve tried the above tips and still find yourself living in a haze, consider heading to the opticians.

Glasses that fall down frequently are usually a result of sizing problems. It might be that you need a better fitting frame or a new pair of glasses altogether. While we can’t determine what the answer will be, your opticians will be able to take measurements and find out in an instant. A well-fitting frame will sit proudly on your face without any slippage.

5. Focus On Your Breathing

So - we now know that glasses fog up as a result of your warm breath escaping out the top of your mask. To lower the chances of this happening, try to focus on your breathing as much as possible. Although easier said than done, breathing steadily and pushing the air downwards will minimise the amount that escapes out the top. Over time, you’ll be able to master a technique that doesn’t require much thought at all!

Wave Goodbye To The Fog

The next time you wear a face mask with glasses, try out these simple tips to prevent any fog. Remember: your mask needs to sit snugly on your face, without a gap at the top. The less air that can escape, the less likely it’ll be that your glasses fog up!

If the fogging problems persist, even if you’ve tried and tested all of these tips, consider wearing contact lenses. Contact lenses will eliminate all of the hassle and frustration, without meaning you have to sacrifice your clear vision.

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5 Things You Should Know About Vitamin D

Posted Tuesday 19 January 2021 10:57 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

There’s no denying that things are pretty tough at the minute. The skies are grey, you’re stuck inside, and a summer holiday to the Caribbean isn’t looking likely.

While lockdowns and restrictions are essential for controlling the spread of Coronavirus, you may not realise just how much of an impact it all has on your body. This is particularly the case with Vitamin D levels.

Here are five things that you should know about Vitamin D, including how to get the right amount during a global pandemic.

What Is Vitamin D?

Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Just like all vitamins, Vitamin D is essential for keeping our bodies healthy and functional.

The great thing about Vitamin D is that we can get it from sunlight exposure. This means that, from late March to the end of September, all we have to do is spend time outdoors to get a sufficient amount. Between October and March, however, cold weather makes this more difficult. This means that we have to seek alternative ways to get our daily dose of Vitamin D.

5 Important Things About Vitamin D

Read on to discover five important things about Vitamin D, including how to get it when you’re stuck indoors.

1. It Is Vital For Strong Bones And Teeth

Vitamin D plays a key role in helping the body absorb calcium from the foods you eat. It is incredibly important for your body to absorb this calcium, as calcium is essential for bone growth and development.

If you do not receive sufficient levels of Vitamin D, the body will not absorb as much calcium, resulting in brittle bones and teeth. This can lead to a whole range of factors, including rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

2. It Can Protect You Against Chronic Diseases

Just like many other vitamins, Vitamin D helps to boost your immune system.

Studies from the University of Copenhagen found that Vitamin D helps to activate the T-cells in your immune system; these T-cells attack organisms that can produce disease. If your body isn’t receiving enough Vitamin D, it will not have the support it needs to fight infection. This is why it is incredibly important to keep Vitamin D levels high to lower the chances of getting Coronavirus.

As well as lowering the risk of developing a virus, research suggests that Vitamin D may also protect you against chronic diseases. This includes:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Colorectal Cancer

3. It Doesn’t Just Come From Sunlight

Vitamin D might be called the “sunshine vitamin”, but it doesn’t just come from sunlight. This is important to know, especially during the darker months (and during lockdown).

Although a very small list, Vitamin D can be found in the following foods:

  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Oily fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods

Of course, the above foods do not suit everyone's diet, and it’s unlikely that you’ll eat them on a daily basis. With this in mind, health experts are advising that we take a Vitamin D supplement every single day. These supplements help ensure that, even when we are stuck inside, we get the right amount of Vitamin D to support our bodies' needs.

You can find Vitamin D supplements right here at Express Pharmacy. We stock leading brand Vitabiotics, who specialise in ensuring your body receives the right vitamins and nutrients.

4. You Need A Certain Amount Every Single Day

As mentioned earlier in this guide, a Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a weak immune system and brittle bones. But, while we know that Vitamin D is important for our body, how much do we actually need each day?

Babies (0-12 months): Babies under the age of 1 need 8.5 micrograms of Vitamin D each day.

Children (1 year+): Children over the age of 1 need 10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day.

Teenagers & Adults: Just like children over the age of 1, all teenagers and adults need 10 micrograms of Vitamin D each day.

When exposed to sunlight during the warmer months, you should be able to meet the above requirements without a second guess. When stuck indoors due to lockdown or during the winter months, however, supplements are essential to ensure you get the right amount. All Vitamin D supplements are tailored with the above requirements in mind.

5. It Might Help With Weight Loss

It’s no secret that if you fuel your body with the right nutrients, it will reward you. Getting the right levels of Vitamin D is no exception.

Studies have found that reduced-calorie diets were far more effective in aiding weight loss when the participants had higher levels of Vitamin D in their bodies. Women who fulfilled their Vitamin D requirements lost an average of 7lbs more than women who didn’t!

Vitamin D Is Needed Now More Than Ever

With so many health benefits associated with Vitamin D, we all need to make an effort to keep it in our bodies. While this may be difficult to get through more natural sources when stuck inside, taking a daily supplement will keep everything under control. For more information regarding the importance of Vitamin D, check out this guide from the NHS.

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Blue Monday: Why Is This the 'Most Depressing' Day of the Year?

Posted Monday 18 January 2021 09:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Harman Bhamra

The idea of Blue Monday first began in 2005 by Dr Cliff Arnall, before later being published by Sky Travel as part of a press release. Since then, Blue Monday has been celebrated (or mourned) every third Monday of January. But, why is Blue Monday considered to be the most depressing day of the year? Read on to find out.

When is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is held every third Monday of January.

Why is Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year?

According to the life coach and psychologist who first coined the term, Blue Monday is the saddest day of the year because of:

  • Bad weather
  • Dark nights
  • Failed New Year's resolutions
  • Spending too much during Christmas and New Year
  • Post-Christmas debt

Is Blue Monday real?

Truth be told, no. Even Dr Arnall admitted that his Blue Monday formula is just pseudoscience and the Blue Monday concept he invented is just part of a marketing campaign to hook people into booking holidays. After all, the firm who asked him to come up with the formula was a travel agency who wanted to promote their winter deals!

"I was originally asked to come up with what I thought was the best day to book a summer holiday but when I started thinking about the motives for booking a holiday, reflecting on what thousands had told me during stress management or happiness workshops, there were these factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing." – Dr Cliff Arnall, quoted from Independent.

Despite Dr Arnall's admission that Blue Monday is just a marketing stunt, marketing firms around the country joined the bandwagon and manipulated the concept to create a gold mine of sales opportunities.

It's all about your mental health

If there's a silver lining in this PR stunt, it's this: Blue Monday raises awareness on why we should take care of our mental health --- not just every third Monday of January but every day of the year.

Below are some truths about mental health:

1. You can't generalise good and bad days

One person's most depressing day of the year could be another person's best day in life. So, it's pointless to generalise good and bad days on a particular date. We’re all unique and live very different lives.

2. Just a bad day? Or is it depression?

It’s normal to feel down every now and then. However, if you feel down for weeks on end, to the point where it affects your daily life, you might be experiencing depression or another mental health issue which needs professional help.

3. Some people do experience seasonal variations in their mental health

If you are familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder, you’ll know that some people do experience a seasonal pattern in their mental health. This is usually more intense and prominent in low light months.

Take care of your mental health every day of the year

Every year, thousands of people die from suicide and other mental health-related problems. What makes it worse is that some companies are trying to "commercialise" mental health issues for their gains --- trivialising symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

There are several things you can do to take care of your mental health. Here are some of them:

  • Talk about your feelings – if you feel troubled, connect with a trusted friend or family member and don't hesitate to talk about your feelings. Sometimes, all you need to boost up your mood is someone willing to listen.
  • Stay active – boost your self-esteem by exercising regularly. Aside from helping you feel better about yourself; exercise also helps you stay physically healthy. You don't need to hit the gym. Sometimes, all you need is a relaxing walk to commune with nature.
  • Eat healthily – you are what you eat. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is not just good for your body. It's good for your mental health, too.
  • Take a break – know that whatever you are doing, you can always take a break. This can be as little as a 5-minute stand-up break or an entire weekend off to explore new places.
  • Get support – you are not alone. If you feel your burden is too heavy to bear, get some support. You always have your family and friends to back you up. There are also local services around you that are willing to lend a helping hand.
  • Learn to accept who you are – you are unique. One of the ways to take care of your mental health is to accept that you are different. That you don't have to compare yourself to others. Boost your confidence by exploring new places, making new friends, doing something you are good at, or learning a new skill.

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Understanding Obesity and How to Reverse It

Posted Wednesday 13 January 2021 10:00 by in Weight loss by Harman Bhamra

Did you know that obesity affects 25% of adults and 20% of children in the UK? This guide will talk about obesity --- what it is, how you get obese, and how you can reverse it.

What is obesity?

Obesity is a condition used to describe a person who is more than overweight. One of the most common ways to tell if you are obese or not is by a measurement called Body Mass Index or BMI. BMI determines whether or not your weight is healthy for your height.

BMI What It Means
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 - 24.9 Healthy weight (relative to your height)
25 - 29.9 Overweight
30 - 39.9 Obese
40+ Severely obese

Note: the measurements above are for an average adult.

Is BMI enough? No. BMI is not enough to know for sure whether you are obese or not because some people can have higher BMI without the fat (e.g., people who go to the gym to build muscles). Another way to measure obesity is through your waistline. Men who have waistlines of 80 cm or more are more likely to be obese. The same is true for women with a waist size of over 94 cm.

What are the causes of obesity?

The causes of obesity include a lot of factors, like hormonal imbalance, metabolic issues, genetics, and underlying illnesses such as hypothyroidism. However, for most people, obesity is caused by lifestyle problems. Let's look at it this way:

Your body needs energy (calories) to function properly. This is called your basal metabolic rate and your daily goal will depend on several factors like sex and age. The total calories you need each day will be your basal metabolic rate + the calories you burn doing your daily activities.

If you eat more than what your body needs, the excess calories will be stored as fat, showing up on the scale over time.

Is obesity dangerous?

You can avoid several illnesses if you stay within your healthy weight range. People who are obese experience problems like:

  • Snoring
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Getting tired easily
  • Breathlessness
  • Low confidence
  • Increased sweating

If untreated, obesity can lead to serious problems like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gallstones
  • Infertility
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Sleep apnea

Studies show that obesity can lower an average person's life expectancy by as much as 10 years.

How to reverse obesity

Estimates show that 1 in every 13 mortalities in Europe is caused by obesity-related diseases. Fortunately, obesity can be reversed. Below are some tips on how to reverse obesity.

Changing your diet

One of the best ways to reverse obesity is to change your diet. You can do this by:

  • Cutting your calorie intake – if you want to lose weight, you have to put yourself in a calorie deficit. To do this, evaluate your eating habits and determine how many calories you are consuming each day. Once you know this number, use a calorie deficit calculator to work out how much you need to cut back on.
  • Make healthier food choices – sweets, soda and processed foods contain large amounts of calories. Try to substitute these by eating fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Plant-based proteins like soy and beans are also great. Limit your salt intake too. Lastly, eat small amounts of healthy fats from nuts, olives, and canola. Try to include fish in your diet as well.

Increase your physical activity

Increasing your physical activity is a good way to burn off those excess calories. Here's how to do it:

  • Move often – any extra movements can do wonders. Simple changes that get you moving such as parking farther from the store entrance, moving around, gardening, and doing household chores can help burn extra calories.
  • Exercise regularly – if you are obese, you will need at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every week to prevent further weight gain. For significant weight loss, you'll need at least 300 minutes of exercise a week. If exercising is hard, try walking 10,000 steps a day.

Changing your behaviour

There are behaviour modification programs that can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes for weight loss. These include:

  • Support groups – you can always find support and encouragement from people who are experiencing the same challenges as you. Talk to your doctor to see if there are any local support groups around that you can join.
  • Counselling – weight loss begins in the mind. A mental health professional can help you determine and address the underlying emotional and mental issues that are behind your overeating habits. Depending on your preference, counselling can be one-on-one or by a group. Choose more intensive programs that include between 12 to 26 sessions a year for best results.

Take weight loss medications

Another great way to lose weight is by taking weight loss tablets. Express Pharmacy stocks high-quality weight loss medications like Xenical, Saxenda, and Mysimba that you can order online today. Most weight loss tablets work by making it hard for your body to absorb fat. Others also make you feel full sooner --- eliminating the urge to eat more than what you need.

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