6 Incredible Health Benefits of a Home Spa Treatment

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Do you seriously need to be convinced that having a spa in your own home is a good thing?

Very well.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a warm spa treatment at the end of a long, stressful day at work. Sure, you could always visit a local spa, but why not use your own backyard and have a custom spa built there by companies such as So Cal Custom Pools and Spas?

A spa is the ideal way to treat ourselves, it’s true. But did you know that a spa has numerous health benefits. Numerous studies have shown that spa can help alleviate different conditions such as cardiovascular issues, insomnia, high blood pressure and chronic stress.

In this article, we’ll list the most compelling health benefits of having a spa in your own home.

It Helps Ease Stress

The stress we have to put up with every day can cause a number of issues including headaches, muscle tension, gastrointestinal issues, soreness and fatigue. Thankfully, a single spa treatment is enough to alleviate most of that stress and the symptoms it causes.

While just sitting in the hot water helps relieve the pressure in your joints and muscles, the therapeutic massage you can enjoy thanks to the hot tub jets releases endorphin, the hormone of joy, which acts as our body’s natural painkiller.

It Can Improve Cardiovascular Health

Getting a deep, long bath soaked in water up to the neck can give a tremendous boost to your cardiovascular system. Since water puts more pressure on the body. The cardiovascular system reciprocates by increasing the volume, meaning your heart works harder. This type of heart workout can help keep it healthy and more efficient.

It Can Cure Insomnia

In most cases, insomnia is caused by stress and as we’ve already covered, spa can help you get rid of it efficiently. Apart from that, it’s well known that hot water promotes relaxation, which is just what you need when you can’t fall asleep. The heat of the water increases your body temperature, and in turn relaxes your muscles. This makes it much easier to fall asleep and have a quality sleep too.

Spa Promotes Weight Loss

Numerous studies have shown that overweight patients lost around 3.5 pounds without modifying their diet or going through strict exercise regimes. Even though it seems impossible, the secret is in the hot water massaging your muscles, mimicking the effects of exercising.

Helps Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels

Similarly, due to the fact that a spa treatment can simulate the effects of an exercise, type 2 diabetes patients can use this to lower their blood sugar levels. If you soak in a hot tub for around half an hour, six days a week, your blood sugar levels can drop up to staggering 13%, according to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine.

It Can Alleviate the Symptoms of Arthritis

Anyone with arthritis knows how unbearable the symptoms of this condition are. According to the Arthritis Research Campaign, using a hot tub is one of the best ways to alleviate the pain in the joints caused by arthritis. Soaking in hot water can relax the muscles, reduce joint stiffness and help with their regular workouts and everyday activities.

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Tips To Take Care Of Your Kids Health

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Children and health are two inseparable factors according to parents, as the most prime concern in life is to raise children’s healthy. Maintaining kid’s health properly is the foremost challenge of motherhood. Health is a habit! Yes, one cannot lead a healthy life overnight. It has to be inculcated as a lifetime habit with good eating, sleeping and exercising. Children’s health largely depends on their immune system; therefore parents can focus on boosting their immune system in order to maintaining a healthy physique for their kids. Developing immunity at young age is easily possible, because as they grow by, exposure to anti-immune properties becomes high! Listed below are some of the tips in order to take good care of your kid’s health.

No Stress Lifestyle

Children who are blessed to have an absolute stress free life have proven to have a healthy and happy life. Schools, extracurricular activities and the societal pressures start to impose stress even on budding minds. This definitely hinders the healthy life of young children, which has to be taken care of by the parents. A happy child and a happy childhood is the best secret to live a healthy life.

Creating a healthy routine in children can be easier when the entire family follows the same. So, make sure to bring any good habit as a family routine instead of just imposing the same only on children. A healthy routine might include a healthy eating, hygiene habits, reading time, proper sleeping time, a good pillow, mattress, standard wake up time. Well, you can explore Sidesleeperreviews.Com if you wish to buy the best pillow or mattress for your kid.

Good Eating Habits

Through advertisements and supermarket displays, children get exposed to all junk foods at a very early age these days. Therefore, implanting good eating habits and healthy food choices to children from the beginning will help maintain healthy life. Parents become role models in tuning the eating habits of young children, so create a healthy food time routine at home, which includes all the family members, will help nurturing a proper eating habit in children. Mothers are the pillow of comfort for children, so any good habit or structured behaviour starts from a mother. A family that eats at least one meal together with the whole family finds it easy to raise good eating habits in children.

Staying Hydrated

Generally, children do not know the importance of staying hydrated to stay healthy. Giving individual water bottles to children right in the morning and monitoring their liquid intakes is important, especially during summers. Fresh fruit juices, vegetable juices and water can be alternated with each other at different times of the day. Better not to introduce aerated drinks for growing children, rather than stopping them from using, better to eliminate.

Shop Healthy

Healthy shopping will easily encourage healthy eating habits in children, as shopping is all about the fascination for kids. Always involve children in buying fruits and vegetables and other healthy food choices.

Well, how much ever a child eats healthy, the secret to a healthy lifestyle is to involve in various physical activities such as cycling, swimming and other activities of their choice. A good work out yields a healthy eating time and a sound sleep time, which are the secrets of living healthy. Parents must not just dictate, but lead to make children follow healthy living practice!

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Fun Activities to Keep Your Mind Active

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Doing the same job day in, day out, can become extremely monotonous, and it can seem as though your mind having to be less active to achieve your daily tasks. If you are struggling to be as stimulated in other areas of your life too, over time, it could lead to reduced cognitive function later in life. Keeping your mind active is also important so that you can have a better quality of life in the present, as well as preventing you from forgetting where you left your keys 20 times a day. Here are a few activities you can do to keep your mind stimulated, without having to take too much time out of your day.

Take a class

It is important to keep learning at all times. Whether you want to read up on a new area of your job, learn a completely new language or study college-level physics, if your brain is regularly required to processes and store new information, it will help to keep your mind sharp. You may feel that you might not have enough time to fit in extra studies on top of work or other commitments, but as this is something you are just doing in your spare time, you can fit in studying where ever possible, as you don’t have a committed deadline.

Play an instrument

By playing an instrument, you have to access several areas of your brain at once. From memory recall to auditory and visual centers of the brain, playing an instrument truly requires you to think. You don’t have to become a perfect musician, but just simply reading and interacting with the music can be a very effective brain stimulator.

Strategy games

Strategy games require problem-solving and forward-thinking, and those are skills which you can never get enough of because they are needed for every aspect of daily life. There are some board games which were made for this exact purpose, such as Scrabble or chess, and these types of games also require you to outsmart an opponent. Alternatively, if you are looking for a task which also requires teamwork, then you could try something like the Boston Escape Room.

Try new things

Staying in a regular routine might make life a little easier, but it doesn’t help your brain to keep active. Trying new things stimulates new areas of the brain, as your mind is forced to process a lot of new information. There is no limit on what you can try, from new foods to taking your daily walk in a new area. Whatever you choose to do, it will still require a lot of mental stimulation, and it won’t even feel like you are actively working.

Read regularly

Reading is a great activity to keep your mind active. It doesn’t matter so much what you read, just that you are fully engaged in the book. It keeps the visual areas of the brain active, as well as the short and long-term memory, and this is an activity which you can easily just spend 20 minutes doing each evening, without having to disrupt your night.

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Simple Tips For Living A Healthy Lifestyle

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Life is complicated and full of lessons, but that does not mean that it cannot be fun. Living your life to the fullest might seem like a distant dream, considering the great number of challenges and stressors that you have to deal with on a daily basis. When it comes to living a better life, you need to understand that you won’t be able to make significant changes overnight. There are unpredictable situations that get in the way of your happiness, but you can’t let those bad happenings get to you.

No matter what kind of challenge life throws at you, remember that there is a solution to every problem. Sometimes all you need to do is take a step at a time and stop trying to be a perfectionist. Other times, it is about learning how to deal with certain situations.

Sleep Deep

If you are tired, there is a high chance that you won’t be able to function at your full capacity. For that matter, you need to make sure that you get a decent sleep each night. Sleep is critical for people because it prepares them for another day. No matter how busy you are or how important some tasks are, you have to take make sleep a priority. Even if you can’t sleep, make a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Over time, you’ll get used to this routine and see a real difference in your life.

Stress Less

Stress is a major factor that causes people to have a miserable life. Financial problems, toxic relationships or a stressful job take a toll on your happiness. Everyone is experiencing stress these days. However, there are simple ways of taking stress down a notch. If you are going through a bad period at work, sometimes it might be a good idea to leave your job and consider settlement agreements. Unfortunately, a lot of people experience discrimination, victimization or harassment at work, and this agreement takes some weight off your shoulders if you are particularly struggling.

Nurture Yourself

Instead of helping other people, it might be a good idea to make a priority of helping yourself. People often forget to take care of themselves, and over time that fact takes a toll on their overall mood and health. There are many great ways of nurturing yourself, yet the best way of doing that is definitely by finding an activity that you enjoy doing. It could be reading a book so that you can nurture your mind, taking a walk in the park for your mind and body or getting a sweet treat.

Slow Down

It is totally fine to say no every now and them. There are people who like to do as much as they can in their day, but that is not great for them. Even though it is good to be productive, by slowing down, you are able to enjoy little pleasures of life. If you take a little more time to complete some tasks, or if you take an extra day to visit something in your holiday, you’ll become a better person with a more enjoyable life.

Life is full of wonders that most people can’t see simply because they may be preoccupied with day to day stresses and strains. The key to remember is to not let stress and negative news get to you. Have this philosophy and your life will change for the better.

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WAYS TO LIVE LONGER

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Despite what we sing along to pop and rock lyrics about wanting to die young, we all want to live longer than that and probably into our sunset years. It is safe to say a good number of us want longevity.

Health and genetics play a big role in our how long you live and how well you age. For instance, coming for a lineage where most people live into their 80s puts you in good stead live longer since your genes have proven to be resistant to diseases. Of course, you can’t just rely on genetics alone, you have to eat and live healthy.

Here are tips to help you live longer.

Take it easy with the alcohol

As the debate rages on whether alcohol is actually beneficial to health or not, with a recent study suggesting that even one drink a day could short your life expectancy, one thing is for sure: excessive alcohol consumption is a health risk.

Excessive drinking puts you at risk of developing hypertension and a host of other cardiovascular conditions, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis and sexual impotence.

Quit smoking

Smoking shortens your lifespan and has been linked with several cancers include lung and throat cancers. Worse still, smokers are at a much higher risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes than non-smokers and developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is often fatal.

Exercise

Exercise is beneficial to both your mental and physical health.

Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain and alleviates stress to keep your brain healthy and mental diseases like memory loss at bay. Exercise promotes the release of endorphins, commonly known as the feel-good hormone, which elevates a person’s moods and reduces stress and helps you sleep better at night.

The benefits of exercise to the body are numerous: exercise improves metabolism which is needed to maintain a healthy body weight and improve digestion.

Exercise burns fat and stimulates the production of HDL (High-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol, which is important in keeping the heart healthy. Physical activity also strengthens muscles and bones and wards off arthritis and osteoporosis.

Check Workoutbox.Com for a fitness plan that is suitable for your needs and fitness goals.

Eat healthy

A balanced diet is important if you want to add years to your life. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water if you want to live longer.

Avoid junk food which have little nutritional value but pack a lot of calories and fats which might clog your arteries and put you at risk of suffering a heart attack.

Avoid processed foods, many of which have preservatives that have been linked to cancer.

Ensure your meals have the essential vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and keep the effects of aging at bay.

Have friends

Have a strong social network is essential in living a fulfilling life as well as living longer. Having friends to share your good and bad days with reduces stress and chances of developing depressions. Feeling loved and cared for improves immunity and prevents one from engaging in risky behavior.

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3 Tips For a Healthy Mind

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The importance of mental health and the challenges that some people have in this area are being recognized more today than, perhaps, any time in human history.  No longer is society viewing mental health conditions as something people should be able to just ‘shake off’ or a condition that afflicts only the weak or vulnerable.

We’re also becoming more aware of brain related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia that tend to have the effect of robbing the person of who they are.  With such awareness, and perhaps first hand experience of such conditions we’re all looking for ways to optimise our mental health and brain function.

It’s important to remember that everyone has the occasional moment of forgetfulness, where they might go upstairs but then can’t quite remember why.  These memory lapses can occur at any age, yet interestingly, we associate this forgetfulness with aging yet aging alone does not make someone forgetful – it’s usually a slippery slope of cognitive decline due to an organic disorder, brain injury or underlying neurological illness.

According to Harvard University, a number of studies have shown that you can reduce the risk of dementia with some basic habits:

  • staying physically active
  • getting enough sleep
  • not smoking
  • having good social connections
  • limiting alcohol to one drink a day
  • eating a balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats.

In addition to these basic health habits, you might want to consider the following prophylactic suggestions that are all scientifically proven to slow down cognitive decline and/or avoid it all together.

SUPPLEMENT

There are a number of supplements such as Ginkgo Biloba and certain oils (e.g. Omega 3, 6 and 9) that are well known for keeping the brain (and in particular one’s memory) functioning healthily.  Equally important is that you keep yourself hydrated, as your brain’s composition is predominantly water – which is why people often feel so hazy in their head after too many drinks the night before.

MANAGE STRESS

This might seem like a no brainer, but managing stress, is absolutely essential to your mental health.  Indeed, many people end up having to visit a cardiologist due to the damaging psychological effects of stress.  

Think of it this way, each time you have a particularly stressful incident that puts your psyche through emotional stress – this creates physiological stress in your body that can take its toll over time.  Indeed, you can see the effects of long term stress on people’s faces and bodies. If you want to have optimal mental health you need to find a way to manage your stress.

TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

There are a lot of ways you can keep your brain active, and the saying “use it or lose it” couldn’t be more true.  There are app based games such as Peak that are developed to stimulate a variety of brain performance attributes such as mental agility and memory.  That said, doing a simple crossword can be just as effective in terms of keeping the mind active.

The other consideration is that anytime you learn something new and expand your mind, the brain is like a muscle in that it gets stronger the more you use it.  Learning a language, for instance, is a great way to holistically train your brain.

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Common Mistakes When Communicating with the Hard of Hearing

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When someone suffers hearing loss, it is not only difficult for him or her to adapt, but it can be a challenge for everyone around the person. You need to find different ways to communicate with that individual. It can be a bit of a learning curve, and the last thing you want to do is offend the person or try to communicate with them in a manner that is completely ineffective. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the most common mistakes that people make when communicating with the hard of hearing, so you can avoid making them.

Assuming loudness is the most important factor when communicating – This is undoubtedly one of the biggest mistakes people make when communicating with people that are hard of hearing. Do you assume that you should simply shout at the person and they will be able to hear you better? This is an understandable assumption. After all, it seems logical. However, speaking forcefully or yelling is not as vital as speaking clearly and at a slow pace. When someone suffers from hearing loss symptoms, it does not mean that they hear everything at a lower volume so to speak. In fact, if you talk louder, you may end up throwing the person off. Instead, focus on how you pronounce your words in terms of speed and clarity, as the person is, most likely, going to be doing a lot of lip reading.

Assuming that you are annoying the other person – Communicating with someone that has hearing loss can be frustrating for both parties. However, you should not simply assume that you are annoying the other person. A lot of people assume they are being irritating by repeating themselves, and so they give up. However, hard of hearing individuals simply need a little bit more clarification at times, so do not let this discourage you from saying things several times. If you give up, it will be more upsetting for the other person than if you have to say something a number of times.

Assuming age is always a factor – A lot of people assume that hearing loss is something that only happens to older people. Nevertheless, age is not the only contributing factor. There are many different reasons why someone may suffer hearing loss. It could be because of the environment they work in, for example, such as a nightclub or a farm.

Assuming that hearing aids will fix everything – There is no denying that hearing aids can be incredibly useful for people that have hearing loss. It is no exaggeration to say that in a lot of cases they can be life changing. But this does not mean that they are a miracle cure. They can be incredibly effective for some people, and not so effective for others. Each person has a different maximum hearing ability. Plus, people suffer from different types of hearing loss. Also, you need to consider the fact that while these devices assist in terms of enhancing the decibel level of sound, they cannot do anything in terms of improving the clarity of the conversation. This further highlights why it is so important to think about how you are speaking, rather than how loud.

Assuming that all hard of hearing people speak sign language – Last but not least, we all have a tendency to assume that if someone cannot hear properly they will no sign language. However, this is not always the case. People choose to go down different paths when coping with hearing loss. Some people will rely on lip reading, others will use hearing aids and assistive listening devices (ALDs), and there are, of course, those that learn sign language. This will largely depend on the level of hearing loss and the person’s own preference, so you should never assume they will know sign language.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the most common errors that people make when they communicate with the hard of hearing. If you can avoid the errors that have been mentioned above, you can give yourself the greatest chance of communicating the person successfully while also ensuring you do not offend them or make things more complicated for them in the process.

 

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Winding Down After A Hard Day

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Life can become very taxing now and again, and a lot of the time we end up stressing ourselves to the point of breaking. If you want to instil better habits into your life this year, you will want to look at how to wind down at the end of the day. Allowing ourselves to relax is crucial to our sleep; and in turn it is also important for our health.

Leave work at work

The most important thing you need to do when you are packing up the office at the end of the day is leave everything there. Never take work home with you even if you feel like you have to. Work is for working and home is for relaxing. If you start to bring things home your mind and body won’t be able to relax properly, and this can cause many issues for you. Make sure that when you come home at the end of the day, you bring only relaxation with you.

Make a calming atmosphere

When you get home from a long day the best thing you can do is create a relaxing atmosphere. You can dim the lights, light some candles and then open up a bottle of wine. Make sure you have the perfect atmosphere to enjoy your time at home and spend time with the people you love the most.

Play games

If you fancy lightening up your night without wearing yourself out completely: a great choice is to play some games on your phone such as monkeybingo games or even a video game. It will keep your mind fairly active but will also give you the chance to do something more fun.

Have a cuppa

Herbal tea is the most relaxing drink there is, and you can make yourself a calming cup of mint tea to wind down after a stressful day. It is a perfect way to keep you warm, cosy and to reduce your stress.

Have a bath

There’s nothing which is much more relaxing than a soak in the bathtub. You can take some time away from technology, the kids and give yourself a chance to clear your mind. It will be a perfect way to get in a pamper session and catch up with your favourite book.

Cook comforting food

Some people actually find the act of cooking incredibly relaxing, and if you are one of these people then there is nothing better to do than cook yourself and your family a big pot of chilli or something comforting, listen to some music and have a catch up with your family.

Practice yoga

If you struggle with relaxing your body as well as your mind after a stressful day; the best thing you can possibly do is to practice some simple yogas stretches. This will allow you to clear your mind, reduce stress and to increase your body’s flexibility. It will help with your sleeping pattern and can even improve concentration if you practice it every single day.

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Could Your Home Be Killing You? How To Make Your House Healthier

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How does your home environment affect your health and wellbeing?

Many of us have a goal to improve our health and in doing so, we rightly tend to examine our eating habits, our exercise regimes and other factors such as stress in our lives for personal relationships or our jobs. Far fewer of us consider all the ways in which our homes may be contributing.

Where we live is where we spend a majority of our time, so it’s not an area of our lives we should neglect. The ways in which the home environment can affect us are really quite diverse – they range from the efficacy of our cleaning routines to taking active steps to eliminate toxins. These factors can impact both on our day-to-day wellbeing and on the management of longer-term health concerns.

Home should be a safe haven, but many of us take it for granted that they are that way, when in fact there could be factors that need addressing urgently. Retreating from the rest of our busy lives into our homes is a given, so don’t underestimate how much of an impact the state of this environment has a bearing on our overall health.

If your home is unclean, unsafe or otherwise unconsidered, it can have serious consequences, especially if you aren’t in the best of health to begin with. Everyone’s home situation is different, and there will always be some factors that are unfortunately outside of your personal control – but there are things you can, and should be doing to make a difference where you can.

A few simple steps can really help to combat a whole host of issues, and here are some of the easiest fixes going to make your home a healthy, happy place to stay:

Invest in an Air Purifier

Figures from MIT in the U.S show that air pollution causes about 200,00 early deaths a year – a staggering number. And the problem is only increasing as urban sprawl brings with it more complications. But although there’s not much you can do about outside conditions, you can control the air quality in your home, although it’s something very few of us consider.

With studies linking air quality to negative effects on pregnant women, asthma, autism and even pre-term births, it’s something well worth addressing. On a daily basis, we breathe in everything from toxic chemicals in household paints to cleaning products and all manner of dust and allergens.

The type of purifier you need depends on your own circumstances. Those in small apartments may benefit from ionising air cleaners. These devices generate negative air ions, which attract dust, allergens and other positively charged airborne particles and lock them in. Studies have linked the use of the to the alleviation of symptoms of depression. However, they are only effective in smaller spaces.

Another alternative is having a HEPA filter installed in your home’s HVAC system. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, and they can remove 99.9% of particles above a certain size. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, they can be massively helpful, but remember that the filter needs changing every three months in order to remain effective. If your home doesn’t have a forced-air system, you can purchase a portable air cleaner with a replaceable HEPA filter.

Keep It Clean – Not Chemical

It goes without saying that a healthy home is a clean one – but many of us could do with revisiting our cleaning habits to improve our health. There are many aspects to consider, so start with a thorough review of your current weekly cleaning regime. Split it out into daily, weekly and bigger occasional jobs, and remember to include the cleaning of appliances that clean other things – such as your dishwasher or washing machine.

Try to avoid chemical-based cleaners that contain toxic elements and aggravate delicate immune systems. The standard household cleaner contains more than 60 toxic chemicals. Great, sanitary results can be achieved using natural solutions such as white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice, and are much kinder to your health and to the planet.

Also, if you like to burn candles, make sure that you steer away from petroleum-based paraffin wax candles, as these emit hazardous chemicals that can be linked to asthma, allergies and even cancer. 100 per cent soy candles or other vegetable-based waxes can help to reduce the harmful chemicals released into your home environment.

Another factor in cleanliness is reducing the waste that you produce and looking at how that rubbish is accumulated, stored and how often it’s collected. Waste needs to be disposed of in a manner that is as efficient and environmentally-conscious as possible. Temporary conditions such as home renovations, or season garden clearances can mean that the standard curb side collection isn’t sufficient, so consider arranging a Same-Day Rubbish Removal service if you have additional needs.

Clutter and waste around the house are not only trip hazards and attractors of harmful bacteria galore, but cluttered homes trigger a constant, low-level stress that is detrimental to everyday health.

Make Light of It

Light pollution, especially for those of us who live in cities, is a huge issue. Not only does it have an impact on wildlife and energy resources, but also about our health and our mental state -but how do you deal effectively with something so insidious and all-pervading?

If you’re constantly exposed to artificial light it can interfere with your sleep quality, a fundamental pillar of good health, especially for those with pre-existing medical conditions. It can even interfere with your metabolism. Start with the basics – by making sure that lights are not switched on when you don’t need them. Timer plugs can help with this by shutting off the power after a certain time that you set. If you have outdoor lighting, make sure it’s on motion sensor detectors so that it’s not left on unnecessarily – this has the other positive effect of slashing your monthly utility bills.

In your bedroom, make sure that you fit blackout blinds or curtains to keep out unwanted light and ensure that you get a peaceful and restorative night’s sleep. You can also try an eye mask if you live with others and need to compromise, or for when you travel. Also get into the habit of banning electronic devices from the room where you sleep. The particular type of blue light they emit blocks the brain from producing melatonin – the hormone that signals to the body that it’s time to sleep – so they are highly disruptive to your sleep cycle and mental wellbeing.

Tackle Your Food and Water

Many of us have considered carefully the links between good nutrition and health, and make changes to our diet to accommodate this, such as ‘eating a rainbow’ each day or introducing superfoods. But did you know what how you store your food is almost as important as what you’re eating?

If you keep leftovers in plastic containers, toxins from these plastics (called BPA) can leach into the food, causing hormonal imbalances and even possibly cancer. Eliminate these problems by switching to airtight lidded glass containers, which are chemically inert, and also recyclable. Similarly, Teflon coating used on non-stick cookware can expose household members to toxic polymers released as fumes from the synthetic polymers used to create the non-stick coating. Using cast iron or stainless steel is a much healthier option.

Your water source is also an important concern. Instead of using tap water direct from the sink, consider investing in a water filter to protect you and your family from contamination. Even though our water is filtered by our water companies, it still contains contaminants -which can include lead, chlorine, E.coli and pesticides. That is a definite consideration if you’re drinking that water and washing your food in it.

With filters, you can opt for a filter jug that sits in your refrigerator, a portable water bottle with replaceable charcoal filter discs or a filter that attached directly to your tap.

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Add Some Greenery

The humble houseplant can really have an impact on your home environment – more than just a part of the décor, they become a health necessity when you realise their benefits. Indoor plants purify our air by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Greenery in the home can also have a calming mental effect by keeping us connected to nature.

If you aren’t great at keeping houseplants alive, got for hardy varieties that need little maintenance, such cacti, spider plants and rubber plants, or a ficus. Then there are plants that reverse the usual process by releasing carbon dioxide at night – so if you are going to keep them in your bedroom, make sure it’s an orchid or a succulent that continues to release oxygen at night.

Turning your home into the safe space it was always meant to be doesn’t have to be labour intensive – with some simple attention to detail, you can transform it into a less harmful environment that will fully support your mental and physical wellbeing.

 

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7 Foods that Get a Bad Rap but are Actually Healthy

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In our constant quest for good health, we often avoid certain foods because they are known to contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, and other undesirable health effects. However, some of the “facts” that we may believe could already be outdated information or even just myths that just won’t die.

Here are just a few of such foods that get a bad rap but are actually quite good for you and don’t have to eliminate completely from your diet.

Nuts (in General)

Nuts like almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and cashews are often misunderstood because most of them are high in calories and fat. However, nuts are primarily composed of unsaturated fats which are healthier for the heart. A study also found that people who include nuts in their diet are thinner and lose about 1.4 pounds more when trying to lose weight. Most varieties also contain plant sterols, which help lower cholesterol levels in the body. Add this to the fact that most nuts contain a host of vitamins and minerals, like B vitamins (including folic acid), vitamin E, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc, and you have a rather healthy snack. Nuts are also chock-full of dietary fiber and phytochemicals.

If you are not fond of eating almonds and its cousins on their own, then including high-quality nut milks might just be the key to include more nuts in your diet and enjoy some of their health benefits.

Coffee

Coffee contains flavonoids, plant chemicals that contribute to many plants and vegetables’ vivid coloring. However, apart from giving coffee beans their distinct, rich hue, flavonoids are also known to protect cells from the effects of aging and also improve heart health. Studies have also shown that coffee may help reduce the risk of some diseases like diabetes, and even lower the risk of mortality. Just don’t go beyond four cups (or five, depending on your physique) a day, and go easy on the cream and sugar. If you want, you can also give the above-mentioned nut milks a try to give your cup of joe a new flavor.

Chocolate

Before you consume a whole bar of chocolate on your own, you should remember that the health benefits of chocolates depend on the type you eat. You want to go for dark chocolates with cacao levels of 60 or higher as these contain more antioxidants and less added sugars. Cacao has also been proven to decrease LDL or “bad” cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and improve the health of blood vessels. Take note that chocolates, even dark varieties, are still high in calories. Limit your daily intake to 1 to 3 ounces unless you want to gain weight that much more quickly.

Butter

Butter is known be the great flavor enhancer that can turn a bland meal into a culinary piece de resistance. However, it also has the unfortunate reputation of being bad for one’s health because it’s filled with fats. To clear things up, butter is indeed full of fats but they are mostly of the healthy kind that help protect the heart and digestive systems. What’s more butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows also contain vitamin K2, which helps the body metabolize calcium, leading to better bone health. As long as you consume it with moderation, butter won’t do your body any harm.

Potatoes

It’s not actually the potatoes that are making you gain weight, it’s the form that you eat them in. Stick to baked, roasted, or grilled preparations instead of deep-fried. A hundred grams of potatoes contains only 77 calories. These humble tubers are also high in dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Potatoes are also a good source of resistant starch, an indigestible carbohydrate, which helps regulate blood glucose and also makes you feel full, thereby helping you lose weight as well.

Frozen Vegetables

Some people believe that frozen vegetables contain fewer nutrients than fresh ones, but numerous studies have proven otherwise. In fact, the freezing process actually locks in the nutrients, so frozen veggies may actually contain more healthful substances than fresh produce. This is because the latter tend to lose their nutrients the longer they are not eaten. Frozen vegetables also come with added convenience, since most of them are already pre-cut, making it easier to add healthy ingredients to your daily meals.

Eggs

Whether or not eggs are good for the body has always been the subject of debate, so let us end it once and for all: eggs are good for you. They are high in protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, and riboflavin, among other essential nutrients. Studies also show that people who eat high-protein breakfasts instead of high-carbohydrate ones have better appetite control over the course of a whole day. Similar to potatoes, eggs are often accused of being unhealthy because of preparation (e.g., fried versus boiled or poached) as well as the food they are often served with, like bacon or sausages.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is as much about keeping yourself armed with the latest information, as following a diet plan and an exercise regimen. When you’re well-informed, you can always make the right decisions for your health.

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