Category : Health

Do You Know These Surprising Health Facts?

Academics are constantly making new discoveries in the fields of medicine, nutrition, fitness, and biology.

Some of these discoveries are very surprising and in some cases, counterintuitive.

This article will share a few of these surprising health facts, including a few that could prove very useful in your everyday life.

Extra sleep makes people happier than a big raise

What do you think would make you happier — receiving a massive pay increase or getting more sleep?

Most people would say the pay increase is the much more desirable option.

However, researchers in the United States found that getting more sleep has a far greater effect on a person’s mood.

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his research team have found that most households do not have a noticeably higher level of happiness or enjoyment when their income exceeds $75,000 per year.

They also found that large pay increases that were accompanied by additional work hours and a reduction in sleep hours actually made people less happy!

Excess sugar consumption is worse than smoking

The dangers of smoking are well known.

They include a very high risk of lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and other dangerous illnesses.

Most people consider smoking to be one of the most dangerous habits around, and rightly so.

However, researchers from the University of San Francisco made the surprising discovery that excessive consumption of sugar may be more dangerous than smoking tobacco.

They made this determination after realising that excess sugar consumption contributes to more than 35 million deaths per year.

Some of the illnesses that sugar consumption contributes to include diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

These conditions are extremely widespread, particularly in developed countries like the UK and the United States, and can prove fatal.

Sitting at a desk all day can dramatically shorten your lifespan

Many people are forced to sit at their desk all day while at work or they spend a lot of time sitting down while at home.

Unfortunately, scientists in Australia have found that sitting for long periods can increase death risk by almost 50%.

The research team found that office workers who sit for more than 10 hours a day at their desk had a 48% greater risk of death compared to people who sat for less than 4 hours per day.

They suggest that people who sit at work or have a sedentary lifestyle should make an effort to stand and move about many times during the day.

Drinking something hot can cool you down

When it reaches the middle of Summer and the temperature is very high, most people turn to cold drinks or ice cream to cool down.

The idea of having a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa seems unappealing when you are already sweating!

Surprisingly, researchers have found that drinking a hot beverage on a hot day can help your body cool down more than a cold drink.

It works because the body will increase the amount of sweat it produces while consuming a hot drink.

The additional sweat will evaporate and make you feel cooler.

More than half of the body’s bones are in the feet and hands

The human body has consists of 206 different bones.

Of these, a staggering 106 bones are located in the hands and the feet.

The human body requires dozens of bones in each foot and hand to perform complex tasks like holding objects and walking.

If you have high cholesterol, you may need more cholesterol

The general public has been told for many years that eating a high cholesterol diet is potentially unhealthy because it may contribute to heart disease.

As a result, many people would seek out low-cholesterol foods and food manufacturers would reduce the amount of cholesterol in their products.

Researchers now know that there are different types of cholesterol including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

They have also found that HDL is very beneficial to the human body and can reduce the levels of LDL (which contributes to heart disease).

As a result, doctors now call HDL “good” cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol.

You can find HDL in many foods including nuts, avocados, and oily fish.

Having a positive attitude can increase your lifespan

Multiple studies have found that people with an optimistic attitude have lower rates of death from stroke, cancer, and other diseases.

This is particularly true for cardiovascular disease, where positive people were 40% less likely to contract the disease.

Exercise can give you energy

When most people are feeling tired, their first instinct is to lay down on the couch or to take a hot bath.

In some cases, they will have a cup of tea or coffee to obtain a boost of energy from caffeine.

You might be surprised to learn that exercise is actually one of the best ways to obtain an energy boost and overcome tiredness.

It works because exercise increases blood flow, oxygen intake, and hormone levels.

It will give you more energy, make you more alert, and boost the production of endorphins which will provide you with a feeling of well-being.

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10 Facts About Heart Health You Should Know

The heart is a major organ that is responsible for supplying the body with oxygenated blood that is used by the lungs, muscles, brain, and other organs.

Having a healthy heart is essential for living a long and healthy life.

If you neglect the health of your heart or circulatory system, it can lead to some very serious medical problems including heart attack, congestive heart failure, and stroke.

This article will share some important health facts to help you keep your heart in great shape.

#1 — Heart disease is the world’s biggest killer

Coronary heart disease remains the number 1 killer in the UK, with approximately 160,000 people dying from heart and circulatory disease each year.

Globally, about 17.3 million people die from cardiovascular disease each year, which accounts for 30% of all deaths.

These shocking statistics highlight the importance of looking after your heart health.

#2 — Healthy blood vessels are important for heart health

There are a variety of medical conditions that can affect the health of the arteries, causing more strain on the heart muscle.

The most common of these conditions is atherosclerosis, which is more commonly known as hardening of the arteries.

Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries become clogged with fatty substances known as plaques.

Plaques cause the arteries to harden and become narrow, which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood around the body.

The heart muscle is placed under a lot of strain and the chances of a heart attack, stroke, or angina become much higher.

It is important to know the risk factors of atherosclerosis, which include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and diabetes.

#3 — Heart disease is a type of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

This includes heart disease, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmia, angina, and stroke.

Heart disease refers to any condition which causes the blood supply to the heart to be restricted or blocked.

#4 — Age and fitness levels will affect your heart rate

The fitter you are the slower your resting heart rate will be.

The reason for this is simple — a strong heart muscle can pump blood around the body more efficiently.

Your age will also determine how quickly your heart beats, with young children having much faster heart rates that adults.

#5 — Your maximum heart rate declines as you age

Because older hearts can’t beat as quickly as younger hearts, your maximum heart rate (MHR) will continue to drop as you age.

To get a rough idea of your MHR, subtract your age from 220.

So, if you are 40, you MHR will be somewhere around 180 beats per minute.

Knowing your maximum heart rate is useful because it will help you exercise efficiently.

Most experts suggest that moderate cardiovascular exercise should be performed at between 55 to 85% of your MHR.

For a 40 year old that would be between 99 and 153 beats per minute.

#6 — Smoking is very bad for your heart health – Seriously if this is news to you, then your heart is most likely suffering!

Smoking is a risk factor for many types of cardiovascular diseases including heart disease and stroke.

Researchers suspect smoking is particularly bad for heart health because it reduces the amount of high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) leading to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol).

Low-density lipoprotein is the form of cholesterol that increases the risk of atherosclerosis.

#7 — Heart attack symptoms differ between men and women

Heart attacks kill millions of men and women around the world each year.

It’s important to know that the symptoms can vary between the sexes.

Men tend to experience extreme upper chest pain, nausea and sweating before and during.

Women often report shortness of breath, pain in the lower chest, dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness.

#8 — A sedentary lifestyle is one of the greatest risk factors for heart disease

Researchers have discovered that people who don’t exercise often and have a sedentary lifestyle have a much greater risk of heart disease.

The best way to reduce this exercise is to exercise and move about often during the day.

The American Heart Association recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise each week.

#9 — Salt is very bad for heart health

Excessive salt consumption is a major risk factor for high blood pressure, which can cause cardiovascular disease.

Avoid foods high in salt, which includes processed meals, crisps, cured meat, and cereal.

#10 — Depression is linked to heart disease

Researchers have discovered that depression is a major risk factor for the early onset of heart disease, particularly for women.

If you often find yourself depressed, seek treatment from your doctor and make lifestyle changes to relieve your depression.

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10 Ways To Keep Your Heart Healthy

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom.

A recent report by the British Heart Foundation (PDF) found that it causes 26% of all deaths, which is more than 150,000 deaths each year — or a staggering 420 deaths per day.

Fortunately, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make which will improve the health of your cardiovascular system and help you avoid cardiovascular disease.

This article will share 10 of the best ways to keep your heart healthy.

Make changes to your diet

The food that you eat has a dramatic impact on the health of your heart.

The ideal “healthy heart” diet includes:

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

They also contain powerful antioxidants which help to keep your heart healthy.

Some of the best fruits and vegetables for heart health include berries, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, acorn squash, spinach, and citrus fruit.

Aim for at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day.

Whole grains

Whole grains are packed with nutrients and are very satisfying to eat.

Add more oatmeal, brown rice, and brown bread to your diet for better heart health.

Healthy fats

Unsalted nuts and seeds including chia, linseed, avocados, and tahini will add healthy unsaturated fats to your diet.

These healthy fats will reduce the ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and increase ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) in your bloodstream.

Also, choose healthy oils that are made from seeds or plants including olive oil, flaxseed oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and sesame seed oil.

Use these oils instead of butter or margarine.

Healthy protein foods

Healthy proteins include foods like eggs, lean meat and poultry, tofu, fish and seafood, legumes, seeds, and nuts.

These foods contain a variety of valuable nutrients including vitamin B, iron, zinc, and protein.

Avoid eating a large amount of a single type of protein.

Instead, mix up your protein intake each week.

Healthy drinks

Instead of drinking sugary sodas, drink more water and green tea.

Healthier treats

There is some evidence to suggest that small amounts of dark chocolate and red wine can improve the health of your heart.

However, you should enjoy these delicious treats in moderation.

Exercise regularly

To maintain good heart health, adults should perform at least 30 minutes of exercise, five or more days each week.

Each session should be performed at medium intensity or higher.

There are many ways to incorporate medium intensity exercise into your busy schedule including riding a bike to work, playing with the kids, playing sport, walking during your lunch break, or walking your dog every day.

Reduce your stress levels

Stress can contribute to heart disease by encouraging unhealthy behaviours like overeating, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, and physical inactivity.

Stress often leads to high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels which also increase the risk of heart disease.

Take steps to reduce your stress levels, like meditating, exercising more often, talking to a therapist, practising mindfulness, reducing caffeine intake, and practising yoga.

Manage your blood cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is carried through the bloodstream.

It is a structural component of all cell membranes and essential for maintaining good health.

Unfortunately, having very high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol can cause it to build up on the walls of the arteries.

This leads to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.

Manage your cholesterol levels by eating foods high in good cholesterol and taking medication if required.

Stop smoking

Smoking tobacco will greatly increase your chances of both cancer and heart disease.

Smoking is also linked to other health problems like infertility, early menopause, and pregnancy complications.

If you are still smoking, talk to your doctor to develop a plan for quitting.

Maintain a healthy weight

Gaining weight is very easy to do in a world packed with fast food, chocolate bars, beer, and other decadent foods.

Unfortunately, gaining too much weight will increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Make changes to your diet, exercise more often and talk to a dietician if you are struggling with excess weight.

Reduce your salt intake

Eating an excessive amount of salt can cause high blood pressure.

This will eventually increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Gradually reduce the amount of salt you add to your food and avoid processed foods that are high in salt.

Manage your diabetes

If you have diabetes, your risk of having a heart attack or stroke is much higher.

People with diabetes also tend to have more severe heart disease and can contract heart disease at a younger age.

If you have this condition, make sure you are receiving proper treatment from your doctor and make any lifestyle changes that they recommend.

Have regular checkups with your doctor

Keeping your heart healthy requires regular checkups with your doctor.

Regular checkups are particularly important if you are over the age of 40.

Your doctor will check your blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels and general health.

They will tell you about any issues they find relating to the health of your heart.

By identifying any problems early on, you can take action before they become more serious.

Get more sleep

Sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy heart.

One recent study found that people over 45 years of age who slept fewer than six hours per night were twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack compared to adults who slept more.

Researchers believe that this is due to an insufficient amount of sleep disrupting important biological processes and causing inflammation.

Aim for between 7 to 8 hours each night.

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5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

Winter is a busy time of year in the UK.

For most people, it includes numerous Christmas parties, vacations, work events, trips away with the kids, and lots of shopping.

Unfortunately, Winter is also the time of year when many people run into issues with their health.

There are multiple reasons why your health is likely to suffer during the winter months.

The most common being the increased likelihood of catching a cold or flu.

Getting enough exercise is more difficult during Winter and it is harder to avoid unhealthy comfort foods, which often leads to weight gain and other health issues.

The risk of having an accident is also higher in Winter, due to wet roads, reduced visibility, and slippery surfaces.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to stay healthy over the Winter period.

This article will share the 5 best.

#1 — Take steps to avoid cold and flu

For many people, winter means “cold and flu season”.

That’s because the chances of catching a cold or flu dramatically increases during Autumn and Winter.

Viruses survive more easily when the weather is colder and people tend to spend more time inside, allowing germs to proliferate more easily.

Here are a few steps you can take to avoid the cold and flu this Winter:

Get immunised

If you are a senior, have a compromised immune system or work in a busy environment like a school, hotel, or office — obtain the flu vaccination from your doctor.

It will significantly reduce the risk of catching the flu.

Keep your hands clean and avoid touching your face

Colds and flu are often contracted by touching a surface contaminated with germs, then touching the nose, eyes, or mouth.

Avoid catching the cold or flu this way by practicing good hygiene and washing your hands regularly each day with warm water and soap.

Boost your immune system

Get plenty of exercise, eat well, and get lots of sleep to ensure your immune system is working well.

Avoid sick people

If you notice someone coughing or sneezing, avoid contact with them as much as possible.

#2 — Exercise indoors

Don’t use the bad weather as an excuse to not exercise over Winter.

There are plenty of options for indoor exercise including:

  • Go to the local gym
  • Buy an indoor rowing machine, treadmill, or bike trainer
  • Take up Yoga, Pilates or another form of exercise that you can perform at home
  • Play an indoor sport like bowling, indoor soccer, or volleyball.
  • Take up dancing over the Winter months
  • Go for a swim at a heated indoor pool

By obtaining plenty of exercise during the Winter months, you will bolster your immune system, avoid excess weight gain, and take care of your cardiovascular health.

#3 — Eat healthy comfort foods

It can be difficult to remain committed to eating a healthy diet over the Winter months.

Salads aren’t a particularly enjoyable option when it is a cold day!

Most people find themselves attracted to comfort foods like meat pies, full English breakfasts, and curries.

However, it is possible to enjoy comfort foods that are still healthy.

Make lots of homemade casseroles and stews that are packed with vegetables and legumes.

Incorporate lots of broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, peas, beans, pumpkin, chick peas, lentils, kidney beans and other healthy ingredients.

Used reduced salt vegetable stock when possible to make your casserole or stew even healthier.

Here are a few healthy ideas to help you get started.

#4 — Perform a safety audit around your home

Staying healthy in Winter isn’t just about exercising and eating well.

You should take additional steps to ensure your physical safety during the winter months.

Winter is a dangerous time of year because incidences of slips and falls, car crashes, and other accidental injuries increase.

Some quick tips for improving your safety include:

Have your vehicle inspected

Many car accidents occur in Winter in the UK due to the wet weather and poor light conditions.

Reduce the risk of an accident occurring by having your car inspected every winter.

Pay close attention to the condition of your vehicle’s tires, brakes, lights, and heating system.

Inspect your home’s heating system

If you have a wood or gas fireplace, check it’s condition.

If you have a wood fire, make sure it is fully extinguished before you go to bed and extinguish all candles.

If you use electric heaters, ensure they are located away from any flammable items.

Clean your steps and driveway

Use a pressure sprayer to remove any moss, grime, and debris on your steps and driveway so they are less slippery when wet.

Consider salting your driveway and steps if ice is an issue.

Install more handrails if necessary

Think about adding more handrails in and around your home.

This will reduce the risk of a fall in Winter when surfaces are wet and icy or there is low visibility.

Check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

During winter, your windows are more likely to be shut and you are more likely to be using heating appliances.

This increases the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

To protect yourself and the other occupants of the building, check the fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and consider adding more.

#5 — Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables

There are many reasons to switch to seasonal fruits and vegetables over the winter months.

The main one being that you will be eating fresh produce that is loaded with the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you need to remain healthy.

Seasonal produce will also be cheaper during winter and easier to obtain from your local store.

To top it all off, eating seasonal produce will support your local farmers.

In the UK, some of the best seasonal foods to enjoy include mandarins, oranges, lemons, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, squash, pumpkin, potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, and fennel.

You can make many delicious soups, casseroles, pies, and sweets from these delicious ingredients to obtain all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy this winter.

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5 Tips For Staying Healthy & Active As You Age

Ageing is a natural part of life.

However, the choices you make as you age will determine how much you get to enjoy your twilight years.

If you take steps to remain healthy and active, you can enjoy a busy social life, stay physically fit, and continue enjoying many exciting hobbies.

If you are a senior who is intending to squeeze as much enjoyment from life as possible, this is the article for you.

We are going to provide 5 tips for staying healthy and active as you age.

These tips will help you remain in top shape and get the most out of life.

Stay connected with other people

One of the most difficult parts of growing older is that your social circle tends to get smaller.

Friends often move away and you may experience health problems that make it difficult to attend social events.

You may also lose the ability to drive, which makes catching up with friends and family even harder.

As your social circle shrinks, you may begin to feel lonely or socially isolated.

This can lead to chronic mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.

The best remedy for this situation is be actively look for opportunities to socialise with other people.

Here are a few tips for doing so:

Get to know your neighbours

Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with your neighbours.

Most people will be happy to have a quick conversation about the weather, sports, or what is happening around.

Getting to know your neighbours will help you foster a stronger sense of community and feel safer where you live.

Pick up old hobbies again

One of the best ways to connect with other people is to join clubs that focus on specific hobbies.

There are clubs for everything from woodworking and gardening through to sewing and reading.

Whatever your hobbies are, you will be able to find like-minded people who enjoy doing the same thing.

Keep in regular contact with family members

Use the phone and Internet to keep in touch with your family members.

Even a short 15 minute conversation can be very enjoyable and ward off feelings of loneliness.

Visit a local senior centre

Most cities and towns have senior centres, where older people gather together to socialise.

There are many types of activities on offer including dancing, bingo, card games, and sewing circles.

Volunteer in your local community

Consider joining a local volunteer organisation.

It will give you the opportunity to help your local community and you will have many opportunities to meet new people.

Stay positive and process negative emotions

Getting older can be quite challenging, particularly if your health is deteriorating.

In fact, it is very common for the ageing process to cause anxiety or bouts of depression.

It can even change your mood, making you more sullen, withdrawn, or angry — which can damage relationships and worsen your health even more.

To avoid feelings of anxiety, depression, or negativity, focus on the good things in life.

Think about all of the many things that you are grateful for in your life, like your friends, family, home, and fun hobbies.

Reflect on the many enjoyable moments that have occurred in your life so far and make a commitment to enjoying the rest of your life as much as possible.

If you find your negative emotions overwhelming, find a way to deal with them.

There are many options to choose from, including writing about your feelings in a journal, painting, exercising, or simply having a chat with a good friend.

Focus on making tomorrow one of the best days of your life and take action to address any issues that are troubling you.

Get rid of the bad habits and keep the good ones

Humans beings are creatures of habit.

Once we get into a routine it is hard to get back out of it.

Fortunately, we do have control over the habits in our lives.

Take an audit of your current habits, then eliminate the ones that have negative consequences for your health or lifestyle.

Next, add new habits that help you remain healthy and active.

For example remove or moderate bad habits like:

  • Smoking
  • Eating fast food
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Sitting for long periods
  • Watching too much television
  • Eating lots of sugar
  • Eating excessive amounts of salt

Then add habits like:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Wake up early
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Read books and learn new things everyday
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Work on your hobbies

Keep playing sport

Many adults stop participating in sports as they get older.

Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on your health and make your social circle smaller.

Instead of quitting a sport because you are too old to continue playing it, replace it with another type of sport.

If you can no longer play rugby, start playing lawn bowls.

If volleyball is too exhausting, take up yoga.

There are dozens of sports and physical activities that adults can continue enjoying as they get older.

By staying physically active, you will ward off chronic illnesses and improve the quality of your life.

Stay Safe

Take some time to reflect on your personal safety.

Some safety issues to consider include:

Safety while driving

Are you still able to drive in a way that is safe for yourself and other road users?

Is the health of your eyes or ears making it difficult to drive well?

The safety of your home

Most accidents affecting older people occur around the home.

To avoid having an accident in the home, make sure it is a very safe environment.

Add handrails to the bathroom, remove trip hazards, change the layout of your furniture so you can safely move around without falling, and move frequently-used items to lower shelves so you don’t need to use a ladder.

Also consider adding smoke alarms and carbon dioxide detectors to your home.

Crime

Older adults are a prime target for criminals.

Avoid being the victim of crime by being more aware of your surroundings when in public and not carrying expensive valuables on your person.

Improve the security of your home by adding security screens and CCTV.

Avoid very hot or cold weather

Extreme temperatures are very dangerous for older people as they cannot regulate their body temperature as easily as a young adult.

Make your home environment a comfortable location by using adequate heating and cooling.

If the weather is very hot, drink plenty of water and consider spending the day in an air conditioned environment.

Stay rugged up in the winter months and use your heating system whenever you need to.

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7 Reasons To Start Your Day With A Cold Shower

Jumping into a cold shower early in the morning might not sound like the most appealing start to the day for most people.

However, this simple habit can deliver some significant benefits to your mind and body.

This article will share 5 reasons to start your day with a cold shower.

Cold showers can boost your immune system

Researchers have discovered that exposing the body to cold water can boost the performance of the immune system.

A study published in 2016 tracked how taking a hot-to-cold shower affected 3,018 participants in terms of illness, work performance, and quality of life.

The research team found that there was a 29% reduction in the number of sick days that each participant took once they began starting the day with a cold shower.

Scientists believe that jumping in a cold shower forces the blood vessels to constrict, shocking the body and stimulating leukocytes (immune system cells) found in the bloodstream.

This bolsters the immune system, making it more resilient to disease.

Cold showers can help you lose weight

If you are interested in losing some weight, having a cold shower in the morning is the perfect way to start the day.

A study published in the United States in 2014 found that a 10 to 15 minute cold shower had the same effect on the body as an hour of moderate exercise.

The researchers found that participants in the study would release two hormones when they began shivering in the shower.

These hormones are identical to the ones produced during moderate intensity exercise.

They are responsible for telling the body to begin converting fat cells into energy — which leads to weight loss.

Other research has found that cold showers will also change how you metabolise brown fat within the body.

Essentially, the body will be prompted into consuming any available stores of brown fat after a short time in the shower.

Better hair and skin

Cold showers can improve the look of both your hair and skin by increasing blood flow to the tiny capillaries just under the surface of the skin.

This helps to deliver nutrients like collagen to the skin to keep it elastic and taut.

Having a cold shower also helps to preserve the protective natural oils that are found in the skin and hair.

This reduces the risk of over-drying your skin or hair.

Instant alertness

Are you one of those people who struggles to get out of bed then spends the first 30 minutes of the day in a virtual coma as you sip on a coffee and watching TV?

Having a cold shower could help.

The sudden blast of cold water will speed up your heart rate, sending a rush of blood to your brain.

You will instantly be awake, alert, and ready to tackle the day that lies ahead.

It’s a great way to boost your productivity.

A clever way to boost your will power

The first thing you do in the morning sets a tone for the rest of your day.

If you drag yourself out of bed and eat a bowl of Chocolate Shreddies while watching morning television for an hour, you aren’t setting yourself up for success.

Having a cold shower is a way of telling the world you are determined, tough, and willing to do what it takes to succeed.

It is an excellent way to prove how motivated you are and to test your willpower.

Making it easier to get to sleep

If you have bouts of insomnia, consider having a cold shower before bed.

Being in cold water will drop your body temperature, tricking your body into thinking it is ready to sleep.

This technique works because the body naturally drops in temperature during sleep.

Reduce the risk of anxiety and depression

Having a cold shower activates the parasympathetic nervous system, prompting the levels of endorphins and noradrenaline.

Endorphins are a group of powerful hormones that act as an analgesic (mild pain killer).

They give you a pleasurable sensation that reduces the risk of certain mental health conditions including anxiety and depression.

Noradrenaline provides the body with a burst of energy, which can be useful for depressed people.

5 Health Apps To Look Out For In 2018

Despite the conflict of how much screen time we subject ourselves to compared to how much fresh air and exercise the average person gets, there are lots of apps out there to help your mental and physical wellbeing.

Here are five apps that are already proving popular in the health, fitness and wellbeing sector in 2018.

Meditation Studio

This app focuses on the art of meditation for relaxation and mindfulness.

The app offers a selection of meditation tutors, each a specialist in their own style of meditating.

Starting slowly and building up, the app has curated its offerings to match the user’s goals and any particular reasons that have brought them to the Meditation Studio.

Keelo

Keelo is the ultimate in workout apps for those who enjoy High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

The cardio-based fat burning workout is effective but it’s tough going and although the app has programmes from seven minutes up to 20 minutes, they are all demanding.

Keelo has a host of sessions for you to access and is perfect for anyone wanting to get started with a HIIT schedule in time for summer.

Headspace

Started by a stressed advertising executive and a former Buddhist monk, Headspace was formed after Andy Puddicombe returned from his monastic journey and met Rich Pierson.

Swapping advice and drawing from each of their experiences led the two to create this meditation app.

Launched in 2010, headspace has an abundance of guided meditations, motivational content, related articles and helpful videos.

My Fitness Pal

This app is great for fast and easy calorie counting and exercise plans at the push of a few buttons.

Log in each day to track what you’ve consumed and learn how to boost your weight loss with sensible workouts.

With over 5 million foods in the database there’s no chance of hidden calories ruining all your hard work and if you need any extra support or have questions then the community forums are always there for advice.

Fitstar Yoga

Fitstar draws on the expertise of yoga expert, Tara Stiles and absolutely anyone can get involved with these personalised sessions from beginner to experienced yogi.

The app continues to monitor your progress so that it can adapt your sessions as you improve your capabilities, push yourself to have higher goals and give your feedback as more poses unlock throughout your journey.

Why A Positive Outlook May Be Good For Your Health

Life is a matter of perspective.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, without the right outlook you’ll be miserable.

Outlook is at the heart of everything in our lives, and the wrong one can be damaging to your life, and even your health.

But how can a positive outlook be good for your health?

The damage a negative outlook can do

To understand why a positive outlook could be good for your health, we need to understand the damage that a negative outlook can do.

When one experiences negative emotions, it can bleed into your perspective and cause you to view things with a bleak eye.

This can affect your health.

When someone has a negative outlook, they don’t bother to try and look after their body.

You become at increased risk of health problems, and you can find yourself getting more and more disillusioned every day, which would lead to problems with your mental health if left to get too severe.

A positive outlook – good for your health?

This has left the possibility open that a positive outlook can be good for your health.

It was explored, and it was discovered that a positive outlook could in fact be very good for your health.

It has been proven that when you are dealing with something that threatens your health, having a positive outlook can help to protect your body and improve your immune system.

The act of cultivating positive thoughts can influence your outlook on life, which encourages the body to fight harder, push past its limits and allows you to keep going.

The positive outlook is also associated with such things as weight loss, a lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart conditions, and a wealth of other benefits, all of which are connected to the cultivation of a positive outlook.

Even when you’re battling a serious illness, your perspective can make all the difference.

When you stay positive and be convinced that you can, then there’s every chance that the body will respond to your requests, and will fight that bit harder to recover.

This is something that can make a massive difference to your mental health and your overall physical health, so you need to try and keep a positive outlook on life.

Overall, a positive outlook can have a massive impact on your health.

It can be perfect for you, and it is easy to see why.

The mind is one of the most powerful things around, and when yours is geared up to a goal, there’s nothing that can stop it.

Keeping a positive outlook will help you to keep fighting.

You’ll be able to push harder and to keep going even in the face of overwhelming odds.

You just have to try and keep cultivating all of the thoughts which keep you going, and all of the emotions which give you strength.

There are no limits to what you can do if you believe that you’re going to keep going and that you’re going to succeed.

The Importance Of A Good Night’s Sleep

With full-time jobs, screaming children and jam-packed schedules to contend with, sometimes getting a good night’s sleep is the last thing on your list of priorities.

Once you finish work and return home you’ve still got meals to cook, clothes to wash and other errands to run, not to mention handling your children’s sleeping routine, and before you know it it’s gone midnight and you still haven’t got into bed.

You may think that losing a few hours of shuteye here and there won’t do you much harm, but a good night’s sleep is much more important that you may think.

Read on to find out why you should really be making more of an effort to get your full eight hours.

It might help you get a promotion of work

Dreaming of a bigger office and a bump in your pay packet?

Well, sleeping more might just help you get there.

Sleeping is important for a number of different brain functions including cognition, concentration and performance.

When your sleep is disrupted or too short, you’ll be slower at carrying out tasks and will find it harder to solve problems.

Getting enough rest in the evenings will ensure you are always on top form and will increase your chances of getting in your boss’s good books.

It can help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals

If you are working on hitting a new target in the gym or losing a few extra pounds on your diet, having adequate sleep can play a big part in this.

When you are tired, your body overcompensates for this feeling by consuming more calories, so you may find yourself reaching for that chocolate bar and avoiding the fruit bowl during your morning break if you got limited sleep the night before.

Studies have also shown that athletes who get the optimum amount of sleep will perform better.

Your health will benefit

Forget about those new vitamins you’re planning on buying, sleep is the only medicine you need when it comes to improving your health.

Sleep deprivation can contribute to a number of serious illnesses including stroke and heart disease.

Studies have also shown that improved sleep can help to boost your immune system, meaning you’re less likely to contract nasty bugs and colds.

Why Your Health Is Your Most Important Asset

What are we without our health?

Many of us are guilty for taking the most pleasure in life from our material possessions like our beautiful new cars or stunning clothing collections.

Some of us concentrate entirely on our work lives and often dedicate thousands upon thousands of hours to making sure we’re where we want to be in our careers.

If you’re guilty of some of the above sins, then you’re forgetting a very crucial point; you wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of the things mentioned if you weren’t in good health.

Read on to find out why your health is your most important asset and why you should never prioritize anything over it.

Reduced risk of illness

Who wants to spend their life being sick?

It’s an obvious concept, but many people forget that if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle then you’re at a much greater risk of becoming unwell.

Not eating right puts you in the crosshairs of a range of nasty conditions such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer.

We’re all in agreement that nobody wants illnesses such as these, so why isn’t keeping healthy, the remedy to staving off these conditions, your number one priority?

You’ll spend more time with the people who matter

Another asset that many people consider to be just as important as their own health is their friends and family.

The two are inextricably linked; if you live a healthy lifestyle throughout your life you’ll spend more time watching your grandchildren grow up once you’ve gotten older.

Studies show that people who live healthier lifestyles live for longer and, as a consequence, can spend more time with the most important people in their lives.

You’ll lead a happier life

Surely the ultimate goal in life is to simply be happy, regardless of our careers or material possessions?

Happiness is another fundamental value in life which is linked to good health.

People who exercise regularly, for example, not only give themselves a dose of mood-boosting chemicals every time they do so, but also benefit from a better physique, which gifts them greater happiness in the long run.

A person who has a positive outlook on life, too, is surely more likely to be happy than a depressed millionaire even if they live in a house with significantly fewer bedrooms?

All our worldly possessions are worthless if you’re not a healthy person both physically and mentally.