Accessible Tarka Trail Highlights

Last Bridge To Bideford

CC by Andrew (Last Bridge To Bideford)

The Tarka Trail is a beautiful walking and cycling route spanning North and West Devon, as well as Torridge. The trail is one of the most extensive dedicated walking and cycling paths in the country and has an array of highlights along the route. This blog will explore some of those attractions that are wheelchair-accessible, and will hopefully encourage you to visit some of them for yourself.

Most people think of the Tarka Trail as only consisting of the 30-mile stretch between Braunton and Meeth. However, the full Tarka Trail is actually a figure of eight around Devon, reaching from Bideford to Exmoor, and from Exmoor to the tip of Dartmoor. In total, the trail is over 160 miles in length, with many attractions along the way. This blog will include the extended 160-mile trail’s attractions.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Sense of Freedom as a Wheelchair User

The determination and independence of Paralympic athletes is something to be admired. It can be challenging to know where to start in gaining a fully independent life or even know where to find the right information on getting started. We have put together some ideas on ways to achieve more independence and ultimately give you a new sense of freedom.

Disability symbol on a parking space

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Top Tips to Keep You Warm this Winter

The weather outside may be starting to get a little chillier, but that shouldn’t stop you getting out and about in the winter months. We have put together some top tips for keeping warm when venturing out, or even staying in, during the winter.

Gloves holding a cup of coffee whilst looking at high quality mobility scooters

Layer Up

Rather than just wearing one thick layer, like a big jumper, it is better to wear several thin layers of clothing, as they help trap the warm air close to your body and keep you warmer for longer. Also, when out and about in windy weather it is important to layer up, so you are less exposed to the cold. Go for material made of wool or fleece, as they will keep you warmest.

Cosy Feet

It is sometimes said having warm feet keeps the rest of you warm, so it is important to keep your feet as cosy as the rest of you, especially if you are not using them when getting around with a mobility scooter. Invest in some thermal socks, and sturdy footwear when outdoors, and have some cosy slippers and some fluffy socks for when you are at home. The air is coolest at ground level, so getting a footstool is good so you can keep your feet away from the floor and keep them toasty.

Hats, Scarves and Gloves

Most of our body heat is lost through the head and neck, so a hat and scarf are essentials you shouldn’t leave home without. Scarves should also be able to wrap around your lower face too, as when it is icy cold, it helps warm the air you are breathing to prevent a nasty shock to your lungs when breathing in. When it comes to gloves, mittens are sometimes better at keeping your hands warm, but they are not as dexterous. Also, if you are feeling cold at home, you can pop a hat or scarf on indoors!

Blankets and Shawls

Sitting down and not moving means you get colder quicker, so a blanket or shawl is needed to keep you snug, even when heading outdoors. You can get blankets that are slightly waterproof for using in wheelchairs and mobility scooters outdoors, but at home, a big cosy blanket or shawl you can easily wrap around you will be sufficient.

Bedtime

When heading to bed, you may want to put on some thermal underwear or bed socks, which will help you keep you warm through the night. A soft hat or cap might also be needed, as your head is the most exposed to the cold. A hot water bottle is a simple but effective way of keeping warm in the evening and in bed too – get one with a fluffy cover for extra snugness!

Hot Food and Drinks

After being outdoors in the cold, there is nothing which will warm you up quicker than some hot food or drink. A carb-rich and slow energy release meal, such as porridge, soup or stew are recommended, as your body will warm up as it burns off the food. When outdoors, having a warm drink in a Thermos flask is an excellent idea, as it can keep you warm when you’re on the go.

Make sure you follow these top tips to stay warm if you are feeling chilly this winter or if you’re planning on going out in the cold in one of our high quality mobility scooters.

5 Tips to Help Keep Your Brain Healthy in Later Life

Even if our bodies need assistance, with walking sticks or high quality mobility scooters, our brains have the capacity to strengthen and reduce the signs of aging. This is by neuroplasticity, our brain’s ability to develop with new learning and experiences; throughout our lifetime our brain will continue to go through this development process.

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There is a lot of negative associations with aging, with many people feeling a need to reduce the symptoms of age and many companies cashing in on this. Cognitive aging refers to the developments and/or changes in our cognitive abilities as we age, and this varies from person to person. However as we develop from infancy to adulthood our bodies and mind go through a multitude of changes, which are usually embraced when we are younger.

Getting older we can expect several differences in the way our brains work. Common changes include a slower processing speed and reduced abilities in our working memory which can cause issues. It is established in current society that poor memory is just part and parcel of getting old, however this could be detrimental shared viewpoint to have as it discourages people from investigating the changes in their cognition. With such focus on the negative changes age brings to our mind the positive ones are often overlooked. As we get older our level of wisdom and knowledge increases, with our knowledge becoming useful in late adulthood. It has also been shown that as we age our levels of happiness can peak as our capacity for appreciations and happiness increase, whilst stress and anxiety will tend to decrease.

Older adults who participate in new learning experiences are shown to be healthy ones, as this strengthens cognitive abilities. Healthier, older individuals all tend to share the same characteristics which include high energy and activity levels, regular exercise, balanced diet, lower cases of chronic medical conditions, have regular check-ups and a good and diverse social life.

To become an optimum ager we recommend these 5 tips:

Regular exercise

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Regular exercise can have a great number of benefits for you, including the release of endorphins that improve mood and studies showing that moderate physical activity can improve your cognitive abilities.

Exercise guides and plans can help you organise the best route for you and your needs.

 

Reducing Risks

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Reducing the risks of diseases is a great way to manage your health as you get older. Exercise regularly, as advised by your doctor, and eating a healthy, balanced diet can be some of the most effective ways to manage your health. Other ways include managing stress, regular engagement in activities that boost your mood, meditation and seeking medical advice when needed.

 

Reviewing your health

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Self-managing your health can be an effective way to managing a healthy mind. Understanding how your health may affect your brain can be the first steps to preventing damaging aging processes.

 

Maintaining a good social life

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Maintaining a good social life in older age can be an effective way to keep your mind healthy and staying happy. Joining a club that relates to a hobby or passion can be a great way to learn something whilst making new friends.

 

Good night’s sleep

Senior man sleeping soundly while lying in bed in the morning with his wife asleep behind him

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting a good night’s sleep helps our brains recover after the day and can promote overall well-being.