Visiting a loved one in hospital – some hospital vocabulary

Get Rest | Get Well Soon | Forward this Picture

I ended last week in an excellent mood. I felt elated because I had just presented my first webinar and I had really enjoyed the experience. I had also had a very busy but rewarding week and was looking forward to the weekend.

I then received a call from my uncle’s partner to tell me that he had been taken ill and was in hospital. My father was very concerned for his youngest brother and asked me if I would go and visit him.

I decided to cancel my Saturday lessons and make the long trip across London to see him. I don’t know about you, but most people do not enjoy going to hospitals as visitors, let alone as patients. For me it’s those long corridors as you make your way to the wards that make me dread the place.

It’s also the sight of sick patients that makes you feel sad and makes you realise how precious our health is and how we often take our good health for granted. Most hospital wards are extremely busy especially the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E). There is always a long wait to see the doctor when you arrive at A&E. My nephew suffered a football injury yesterday and was in A&E for 5 hours before he was sent home on crutches – poor boy.

Well, there was no long wait for me when I went to visit my uncle on Saturday. I went up to his ward and after washing my hands and using the disinfectant gel, I was allowed to see him in his room. He was lying on the hospital bed fast asleep. He had an arm in a sling and the other hand had cannulas sticking out of his hands. The cannulas were for the nurses to give him antibiotics and saline intravenously. He was wearing the hospital gown which is the most fashionable garment in the world! He looked very frail and I really didn’t recognise my uncle. It was very sad and upsetting.

Whilst I chatted to my uncle’s partner, my husband went to the nurses’ station to get some more information about my uncle’s condition and to know when would we get the results of the tests they had carried out. My uncle has a serious infection and the doctors don’t know what it is and therefore, don’t know how to treat it.

My uncle slowly woke up and after what seemed a long time, he managed to focus and recognised us. We stayed with him for a couple of hours chatting about different things. As we left, my uncle looked at me with real love in his eyes and made a sign for me to approach him. I leant over him and gave him a peck (a kiss) on the cheek and told him I would come back soon.

The journey home was a sad one. I wrote an email to my immediate family telling them the latest news on the tube. I felt very sad that evening and in fact, I still do. My relationship with my uncle has, at times, been stormy over the years and there were periods when I didn’t see or want to see him. However, seeing him in the hospital bed looking so frail and vulnerable made me want to cry. I felt so sorry for him and it made me realise that no matter how annoying some family members can be at times they are always family. And the last thing I would ever wish for is for my uncle to think that he is alone without family.

I hope you don’t mind this less than cheerful post but I needed to share my thoughts with you, my readers. Thank you for reading.

I wish you all a good week.

Ciao for now


PS If you liked my post please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Key to the colours
The expressions in blue relate to health and hospital vocabulary and the phrases in pink are expressions and collocations you can use anytime.

Event: My First Free Webinar for Teachers – Please join me



I am delighted to tell you that I will be giving my first FREE webinar on WiZiQ this Friday 17 October at 12:00 EST/17:00 BST (British Summer Time).

The title of my webinar is “Reach Out to Language Learners through Blogging”. 

Blogging is one of the most effective and rewarding ways teachers can connect to a wider audience of language learners. It has certainly worked for me!

In this webinar, I will demonstrate that by sharing your love of the English language and having a clearly defined approach, you can engage in a meaningful way with learners across the globe.

Webinar two

I would love it if you could join me on Friday. If you cannot be there but would like a recording of the session, please make sure you join the course. That way you will have access to the recording. You can join the course here.

If you know of other teachers who are thinking of starting their own blog and could be interested in my webinar, please share this post with them.

I hope to see you there.

Ciao for now


Medical Vocabulary – 12 symptoms and possible problems

I don’t want you to think that I am the mistress of doom and gloom, but after last week’s post on words that collocate with injury I thought I would continue with the theme of medical problems in this week’s post.

A few weeks ago I posted this excellent image about medical symptoms shared by IELTS Vietnam on my Facebook Page which proved to be very popular with my followers.
I have since found out that the original image was created by a fellow teacher and blogger, Jenny on her excellent website, The English Student.
Unfortunately her image was taken with all logos and reference to her website removed and then shared around. Jenny contacted me to inform me of this copyright infringement. I promptly substituted the image with the original (see below). You can also view it on Jenny’s post here. Thank you for contacting me, Jenny and my sincere apologies for this mistake. Jenny has some excellent tools and resources for language learners so do check her site out. Her posts and lessons are beautifully illustrated.

What I thought I’d do with this post is to expand a little more on some of these symptoms and share the possible associated medical problems. I also want to offer some additional vocabulary that you can use with some of these symptoms. So here goes.
BLOG_Medical Symptoms


1. My head hurts! 
This means that you probably have a headache /hedeik/ or worse still, a migraine /mi:greɪn/.
You can have a slight, throbbing, pounding or splitting headache.


2. My ears are sore!
Your ears could also hurt or ache meaning that you have earache /ɪəreɪk/.


3. I have a toothache!
You will need to see the dentist who will probably have to pull your tooth out. You may have a cavity caused by tooth decay.
The pain from toothache can be sharp, throbbing and constant.


4. My arm is sore!
The muscles in your arm may be sore and that’s why it feels sore. Perhaps you did some strenuous exercise or overused your arm at work.The soreness normally passes.
Luckily, you haven’t broken or fractured your arm because that would cause excruciating pain or be excruciatingly painful.


5. I cut my finger!
Oh dear, try putting your finger under a tap of cold, running water to ease the bleeding. Hopefully the bleeding will stop and you can put a plaster on it. If not, you will need to go to A & E (Accident & Emergency) and have the cut treated with some stitches and a bandage.

NB: I have since had a reader inform me that and I quote: “putting your bleeding finger under running water is actually going to impede the healing process as it prevents the blood from coagulating. The thing to do is to put pressure on the wound“. Thank you to Claire H for correcting me on this.


Photo: Jantoo

Photo: Jantoo


6. My nose is runny!
You have either caught a cold or you’re suffering from hay fever. In either case, you may find that you cannot stop sneezing and have to keep blowing your nose.
Your head could feel fuzzy because your sinuses are blocked.
A heavy cold is no fun and can often last for weeks. As we approach winter, I’m afraid more and more people will come down with heavy colds that could feel debilitating.


7. My eyes are dry or watery!
My eyes sometimes get dry when I have been in front of the computer for many hours. They then become sore and itchy. On the other hand, I have watery eyes when I cut onions and they really sting or when I have a cold.

8. My throat is dry!
A sore throat is the worse thing to have. It is so painful and it makes swallowing so hard. In the past I used to get really bad sore throats which would make me lose my voice!
Sometimes, if you haven’t drunk water for a while, your throat can feel dry and worse still, parched. A long drink of water should do the trick and ease the symptoms!

9. My chest feels tight!
If I run too fast on my weekly runs I can feel my chest tighten and it takes me a while to get my breath back.

10. My stomach hurts!
If I eat too much, I get a stomach ache /eɪk/. The pain can be sharp.
Sometimes, your stomach can feel queasy and you could feel sick. Does your stomach ever gurgle?


11. My legs feel weak!
Especially after a long run, your legs can feel weak and wobbly. If that happens, you need to sit down.
If, however, your legs are weak because you’ve drunk a bit too much alcohol, you will probably have to lie down and sleep off the effects of alcohol!


12. I twisted my ankle!
Ouch, a twisted ankle could mean that you have sprained it or worse, broken it. That will make walking very difficult and very painful. You will probably limp or hobble rather than walk.


Well, I do hope none of you is suffering from any of the above ailments. However, I do hope that the vocabulary shared in this post is helpful for next time you have to talk about such a topic.
Despite the subject, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Ciao for now



Key to the colours
The expressions in blue relate to medical vocabulary and symptoms while the words in pink are adjectives we use linked to medical terms and symptoms. The expressions in red are verb phrases and expressions connected to the medical theme.

English Collocations Series – Words that collocate with “injury”

BLOG_injuryMy husband had an operation yesterday to treat a shoulder injury he sustained while cycling nearly two years ago. He now has his right arm in a sling and won’t be able to drive for at least two weeks. He will need to have physiotherapy to regain full arm and shoulder movement. Luckily, he is left-handed and will still be able to do most things.

This, of course, gave me the perfect opportunity to introduce my next word in my new English Collocations Series which is, surprise, surprise “injury” (noun). And what a happy coincidence when I found this graphic prepared by Younes Hatami on his Facebook Page English Collocations for IELTS. I thought, perfect! This is exactly what I was looking for.

So like in my previous post when I launched the series, I will use the words shown here and give you 10 examples of how you could use these adjectives and verbs and phrasal verbs in a sentence and how they go together or “collocate”. I have also added a few more verbs and adjectives.

The only two words in this image that I’m not too sure about are “carry an injury” and “horrendous injury”. I have to say that I’ve never heard of the collocation “to carry an injury” (please enlighten me) and I would use “horrific” rather than “horrendous’ as a more natural collocation.

BLOG_Collocation with INJURY

1. Jason picked up a nasty ankle injury at football yesterday.

2. Even though it’s a minor injury, it’s going to take at least six months to recover from it.

3. Before every marathon, runners should do a good warm-up to avoid/prevent any serious injuries.

4. The accident was serious but luckily the injuries he sustained are not life-threatening.

5. Ever since my sporting accident ten years ago, I have suffered from this recurring knee injury.

BLOG_Injury cartoon

6. I have never been able to understand how some people can inflict such horrific injuries on animals.

7. The drivers of the vehicles managed to escape serious injury in the road collision.

8. Despite falling off her bike, Sally incurred slight injury to her arms.

9. I have been nursing this nagging injury for such a long time that I am really fed-up.

10. The victims suffered multiple injuries in the fire. In fact, some of the injuries could be crippling.

I hope with all this talk of injury, you’re not too depressed!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Ciao for now


8 Phrasal Verbs with “Fall” that you can use in Business English

BLOG_Goodbye SeptemberToday is the last day of September which means that we’re slowly moving towards the autumn season here in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather cannot decide whether to leave summer behind and embrace the new season which means that we have had some very interchangeable weather in the last few days. For instance, Sunday was extremely warm and it felt like summer while yesterday was drizzly and grey reminding us that autumn is just around the corner.

Last year I wrote a post where I shared some autumn vocabulary. This year I’d like to share 8 phrasal verbs with the verb “fall” in it. “Fall” is American English for “autumn”.

One look at the dictionary and you will discover that there are well over 10 phrasal verbs with the verb “fall”! I’ve decided to focus on those phrasal verbs that are also used in Business English and consequently I have chosen 8.


Here they are:

1. Fall through 
If something like a deal or plan falls through, it fails to happen
Example: “After months of negotiations, our plans to merge fell through.

2. Fall for  
If you fall for somebody it means you fall in love
If you fall for something it means that you believe a trick, joke or a lie is true.
Example: “The market fell for all their over-optimistic reports about their profits”.

3. Fall apart 
If an organization, agreement or relationship falls apart, it no longer continues.
Example: “The longstanding relationship we’ve had with our suppliers is falling apart

4. Fall behind
To fail to pay something on time
Example: “Sales have been so tough that we’ve fallen behind with our loan payments to the bank”

5. Fall back
To become smaller or lower in amount or value (drop)
Example: “The share price fell back 2% after profits warning was issued”

6. Fall down
If an argument or system falls down, it fails because a part of it is either weak or not correct.
Example: “Charles’s arguments for a management buyout falls down on some key points”.

7. Fall into 
To start doing something by chance
Example: “I fell into the world of finance by accident”

8. Fall out
To stop being friendly with someone after an argument.
Example: “Ed and Roger haven’t been on speaking terms ever since they fell out over which way the company should go in the future.”


If you liked this post please share it. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you want to receive my posts automatically.

Ciao for now.


How to talk about tax in English – some essential vocabulary you’ll need


In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.


BLOG_TaxesSo wrote Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, to his friend in 1789. Since then, it has become a proverb in the English Language. Many people would agree with this saying. We cannot escape death and unless we wish to break the law, we cannot escape taxes either.

This rather sobering (serious) thought has been on my mind in the last 10 days as I have been preparing all the necessary paperwork to complete my tax return. And while I was doing what can be a most boring task, I thought that this would be a good topic to share with you. You may disagree with me, but as we all have to pay our taxes why not talk about it in English?

As a freelance English Language Teacher, I am registered with the Tax Office as self-employed. This is the opposite of being an employee who is employed by a company (employer).

BLOG_Taxes CartoonIn the UK, an employee’s income is taxed at source which means that their employer deducts tax from their gross salary and pays the tax on their behalf. What they receive in their payslip is the net monthly salary. So, gross is before tax and net is after tax. When I refer to tax, I mean income tax.


By contrast, a self-employed person receives gross income. My clients pay my fees after I send them an invoice. The money I receive is gross and has not been taxed. What I have to do is add up all the income I have received in the year and calculate the tax that I have to pay on my annual income.

Before calculating the tax, I can take into account any business expenses I have incurred during the year and deduct them from my income. I also have a personal tax allowance that I can apply to my gross income. A personal allowance is the amount each individual can earn in a year free of tax. For example, the first £10,000 I earn this tax year will be tax-free! 

BLOG_Taxes 2I have a tax accountant who helps me with my annual tax returns. What he does is to find out what allowances I can claim, what expenses I can deduct from my income and finally, he calculates the tax I have to pay. What I need to do is to prepare all the necessary paperwork he needs to do his job.

So, I need to keep all relevant receipts and print off all my invoices and bills. I then have to prepare an Excel spreadsheet that shows very clearly all the income and expenses I have incurred each month under different sub-headings. I have to number all the receipts so that my accountant can tick them off against each entry.
As you can imagine, this is an extremely time-consuming and boring task! If I were super organised, I would do this task at the end of each month instead of wasting nearly a week at the end of the tax year getting everything ready! (I plan to be better organised from now on).

After my accountant has done the calculations, he sends me my accounts for my approval. Once I have approved them by signing them off, he completes and submits the tax return online. I will then receive notification from the Tax Office confirming receipt of my return and they will inform me when I have to pay the tax owed.

I am so relieved I have completed all the paperwork and finally sent my tax return off to my accountant. I can now concentrate on doing much more fun things – until I receive my tax bill, of course!

I hope you found this post of interest. If you did please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Ciao for now


Key to the colours
The expressions in blue relate to tax and finance vocabulary and the phrases in pink are expressions and collocations you can use anytime.

How to use these 12 Homographs in a sentence

I mentioned to my husband (a native speaker of English) that I was going to write about homographs in my next blog post and his comment was “What are those?”.

Good question. Homographs are words that have the same spelling but different meaning and sometimes origin and pronunciation.
Homographs are not to be confused with homophones which are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings.

When I explained this to my husband, his next question was: “Why is the English Language so complicated?!!” This coming from a native speaker of English!

I found this list of 12 homographs from an excellent Facebook Page called English is Great and it immediately gave me the idea for this post. What I thought I’d do is to show you how each of these words are used in a sentence and also how they are pronounced if the pronunciation is different.

English is Great_Homographs

1. Close
a) Shut : Did you close the windows before leaving the house?
b) Near: The post office is close to the bank in the main town. 

BLOG_Bow2. Bow
a) Type of knot: She always wraps her presents with colourful bows /bəʊz/
b) To make a forward movement with the top part of your body: Japanese people always bow /baʊ/ to show respect.

3. Bat
a) in baseball or cricket: Tom has a strange way of holding his cricket bat.
b) an animal: We often see bats in our garden in the early evening.

4. Minute
a) tiny: The chances of success were minute /maɪnju:t/
b) unit of time: I will be with you in just a minute /mɪnɪt/

BLOG_Summer Ball5. Ball
a) sphere: We love ball games.
b) a dance: At university, there was always a Summer Ball.

6. Fly
a) move through the air: I love to watch the birds fly from tree to tree.
b) an insect: I hate it when a fly lands in my soup!

7. Left
a) direction: When you get to the end of the road, turn left.
b) past tense of leave: She left the office at 5pm.

BLOG_pupil8. Pupil
a) part of the eye: Simon has very large pupils.
b) student in a school: Jessica is the star pupil in her drama class.

9. Sewer
a) drain: There is an extensive sewer /su:ə(r)/ system under the city of London.
b) someone who sews: Alice is a good sewer /səʊə(r)/. NB: This meaning is not commonly used in English. We refer to a person who sews as either a seamstress (female) or tailor (female and male)

10. Wound
a) past tense of to wind /waɪnd/: Ben wound /waʊnd/ the tape up after he had finished with it.
b) to injure or an injury: Three soldiers were wounded /wu:ndəd/  in the attack./ The wound /wu:nd/ in my leg is taking a long time to heal.

11. Fair
a) just: I think that the boss was very fair in the way he handled the dispute between the two sides.
b) exhibition: There’s an arts and crafts fair this weekend. Would you like to go?

12. Fan
a) an admirer: I am a huge fan of Woody Allen’s films.
b) a cooling device: Can you switch off the fan, please? I’m really cold.


There are plenty more homographs to choose from. Can you think of others?

My thanks to English is Great for this wonderful resource.
If you liked this post, please share it. Don’t forget to subscribe to my post if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Ciao for now


Are you a fashionista? Some fashion vocabulary in English

BLOG_FashionistaI don’t know about you but I am not one to follow fashion slavishly (also known as fashion slaves). I am no fashionista. However, I do like to dress well.

When I worked in finance I had to dress in business suits whether it was a tailored jacket and trousers or tailored jacket and skirt. I preferred trouser suits as I felt more comfortable wearing them. I spent a lot of money buying my suits and blouses or shirts that would match my suits. I also had to think of all the accessories that would go with the clothes – like what shoes to wear, handbags to carry and sometimes, the right belt that would match the trousers.

As far as shoes were concerned, when I was younger I chose some high-heeled or stiletto heels that were really uncomfortable to wear especially after a day standing in them. However,for the sake being fashionable I had no choice but to wear them!
Now that I am a few years older and wiser, you wouldn’t see me dead in a pair of stiletto shoes. You’re more likely to see me in a pair of trainers or Birkenstocks!

As an English teacher who works predominantly from home, I have become extremely lazy with my clothes. I spend most of my days in leggings, joggers, jeans and casual shirts and sweat tops. I will accessorise my clothes with some jewellery, mainly costume jewellery, though. I don’t want you to get the idea that I am a complete fashion disaster!

So no surprise then that I don’t follow the latest trends in the fashion world. Fashion magazines bore me. Consequently, I was unaware that we were in the middle of Fashion Week here in London until yesterday. In fact today is the last day of London Fashion Week. It started last Friday 12 September. It didn’t, however, stop me from thinking that the event was a great trigger to write a post about fashion vocabulary.

There is a proverb in English: “Great minds think alike” and that is exactly what I thought when I saw this infographic created by Kaplan to celebrate London Fashion Week. I had to share it with you here. You can see more of the post on the Kaplan website.

fashion vocabularyKaplan International English

Entitled “Describe your style in English”, the infographic gives some vocabulary on the different clothes and accessories people wear. I have to say that I’ve discovered some new styles from reading this infographic, especially concerning glasses (or spectacles).

Kaplan have shared the vocabulary from these ‘destination style icons’ namely,speaking the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The styles originated from these countries and have now become a part of everyday fashion. Do you wear any of the items shown?

How would you describe your style? Are you a fashionista?

I hope you liked this post. If you did please share it. And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Ciao for now


Key to the colours
The expressions in blue relate to fashion vocabulary and the phrases in pink are expressions and collocations you can use anytime. The expressions in orange are idiomatic or slang expressions with, in some cases, a link to explain what they mean.

English Collocations Series: Words that collocate with “Conversation”

BLOG_Collocations ImageIn language there are words that go naturally together. For example, in English we “make a cake”, “do business”, “take a photo”, “have a drink”.  In another language, the verb that goes with those nouns could be different. For instance, in Italian we say “take a drink”, “make business”, “make a photo”. If you were to literally translate the expression from Italian to English, it would sound strange to a native speaker.

This is called “collocation”. The Cambridge Dictionary describes collocation as:
a word or phrase that is often used with another word or phrase, in a way that sounds correct to people who have spoken the language all their lives, but might not be expected from the meaning
So, in one of the examples above “take a drink” would not sound as natural as “have a drink”. 

Together- not on their own.

Together- not on their own.

80% of  language learning is vocabulary. All my clients tell me that they want to widen their vocabulary. When I ask them how they intend to do that, they don’t always know. Some say that they make a list of all the words they discover. When I ask them to then create a sentence with the words they’ve learned, they often don’t know what to do. And that’s the problem.
Words on their own are meaningless. You need to know how to use them in a sentence and in the right context. And for that you need to know what words go naturally together. That’s why collocation is important.

Unfortunately for learners, there are no rules that can be studied when it comes to collocations. The only thing you can do is to practise using the expressions as much as you can. That could be done through reading, listening, speaking and writing. The more you use the expressions, the more natural they will become to use.

I, like many of my colleagues, spend a lot of time teaching collocations and that’s why I thought I’d start a new series entitled “English Collocations”. I plan to select one word (normally a noun) and give examples of verbs and adjectives that naturally collocate with it. I will then show how to use those expressions in example sentences.

BLOG_Collo_FluencyMCFor those of you who follow my Facebook page, you will have noticed that I occasionally share content from a page called English Collocations for IELTS. The person who manages the page, Younes Hatami, has created a number of posts where he selects a word (typically a noun) and shows what verbs, phrasal verbs and adjectives collocate with it. There are also other people who share excellent content, for example, Jason R Levine aka Fluency MC. He has some great posters that he often shares on his Facebook page.

I’d like to share some of this excellent content here on my blog. I’m going to start the series off with the word “conversation”. I’ve used the post created by Younes and given you 10 example sentences using the verbs and phrasal verbs below. I will also include some of the adjectives and add a few of my own.



1. Tom and James fell into a serious conversation about what would be the right step to take for the business.

2. They always get into an animated conversation when it involves football.

3. She is very good at striking up a conversation with strangers at parties.

4. I found them deep in conversation, so I left them to it.

5. After an hour of idle chat, she finally managed to bring the conversation around to serious matters.


6. We often find ourselves drifting into a conversation about our respective children.

7. As the conversation was getting very heated, I needed to steer it to a safer, less contentious subject.

8. Jack is very good at engaging his clients in a stimulating conversation.

9. I found the conversation on the traffic so boring that I tried to move it on to something more interesting like the weather!

10. I don’t mind small talk, but I can’t bear it when the conversation becomes so one-sided that it stops being a conversation and becomes a monologue!

Can you think of other words that collocate with “conversation” that you’ve used and would like to share?

Also, please do let me know if you think this series on English Collocations is something you’d like me to continue and any words you’d like me to explore. I’d love to hear from you.

I want to thank Younes Hatami for giving me this idea and for producing great content, not to mention all the other creative EFL teachers like my friend and colleague, Jason R Levine.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss out on my posts.

Ciao for now


Let’s talk fitness – the vocabulary of health and fitness

BLOG_FitnessAs many of you will know, I went to Rome last week for 5 days. During those five days we must have walked for miles and miles (well, it certainly seemed like it). I wish I’d brought my pedometer so that I could have calculated the number of steps I’d taken and the calories burned. Alas, I didn’t so I could only guess. The guessing game was great as I could delude myself that I had burned more calories than I probably had while sinking my teeth into yet another delicious slice of pizza!

Now that I’m back and autumn beckons I have decided that I would like to work on and improve my fitness levels. I was never a sporty child or teenager. I’m afraid the lure of books was always far too strong. And anyway, I was never interested in team sports like netball, volleyball. I played squash and tried tennis, but again racquet sports were not something I particularly enjoyed. I have always preferred individual sports like running, walking and keep fit.

BLOG_Fitness 3


As an adult I got into fitness through aerobics in my early 20s and ever since then, I have been fairly consistent with getting and staying fit. However, like a lot of people my weight has fluctuated over the years. There were times when I put on weight and went up a few dress sizes and then the opposite happened and I lost weight and dropped down a couple of sizes.

Nearly thirty years on (I can’t believe I just wrote that!), I’m very conscious that the older we get the more work we have to put into staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight. Most of us lead sedentary lives and it can be a real challenge to stay fit and healthy let alone try and lose weight.

CET_CheekyI remember, a few years ago, I had a personal trainer who told me that if I wanted to lose weight I would have to halve my food portions. I was shocked.

I really thought that that would be impossible to achieve as I was worried I might get hungry. He said that that would not happen as I had enough fat in my body to sustain those hunger pangs! Cheeky monkey!


However, he was right. The less food I ate and the more exercise I did, the weight inevitably fell off. It is simple maths, isn’t it? If we consume fewer calories than we burn, we will lose weight. There is no need to go on a diet or follow all those fad diets that, as far as I am concerned, make me obsess over food the moment I’m on one of them.

My job entails a lot of sitting around. I also work from home which means that I don’t even have the excuse of running to catch the train. It is, therefore, very important that I get some exercise during the day and week.

BLOG_Fitness 2We have a cross-trainer in our garage and I also enjoy running (actually it’s more jogging!). I alternate between the two forms of exercise so that I don’t get bored. The longest distance I’ve run has been 11km. I am not a fast runner but speed is not important for me. I am more interested in getting some exercise that will help boost my energy levels. I do enjoy my runs. I plug in my music, switch on my running app and off I go. I like the way the running app records my running sessions. It allows me to observe my progress or in some cases, lack of progress!

Teaching can be an exhausting activity and the only way I can sustain my energy levels is by doing some exercise. I have to admit that occasionally the sheer thought of going for a run, even for 5km, sounds very unattractive. However, as you have probably experienced, you always feel so much better after an exercise session.

So far this week I have run just over 5km and had a 45-minute session on the cross-trainer. I intend to work hard on my fitness so that by the time Christmas comes, I can go mad!

What do you do to keep fit and stay healthy?

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Ciao for now


Key to the colours
The expressions in blue relate to health and fitness vocabulary and the phrases in pink are expressions and collocations you can use anytime. The expressions in orange are idiomatic or slang expressions with, in some cases, a link to explain what they mean.

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