6 Tips for Staying Healthy This Winter

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Winter can bring about a whole host of problems and obstacles when it comes to staying healthy. It is, of course, cold and flu season.

Winter also brings about a lot of holidays and holiday parties, which can throw a wrench into any healthy eating regimen. Add alcohol at those gatherings, the stress of being extremely busy, holiday shopping where you’ll come across many people with a cold, and it’s a recipe for a health disaster.

And there’s no cure for the common cold. So how exactly can you keep yourself from having all your energy zapped out of you while ending up flat on your back on the couch for days, despite that mile long to do list?

So, you’re surrounded by sick people, your stress levels are high, you’re really busy, and your eating isn’t as healthy as it would be under normal circumstances. It doesn’t sound good!

But don’t worry. All is not lost! There are ways to stay healthy this winter!

  1. Get Your Sleep

No matter how busy you are or what you have to get done, getting enough sleep is absolutely crucial to a healthy body and mind! You can not skimp on sleep!

Your body needs time to rest and recover, even more so when stress levels are higher, which is definitely the case around the end of year holiday season.

You may also want to cut back on your workouts during the winter to make sure your body has time to recover. When your body is overworked and you aren’t getting enough sleep, it promotes an acidic environment, and this is a breeding ground for viruses and other nasty germs to have their way with you.

Get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Yes, even on weekends. And do your best to get up about the same time every day, seven days a week.

  1. Relax, Chill Out, Kick Back

Whatever you want to call it, you need to find time to take the proverbial chill pill. A 2012 study that was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that people who had to deal with a very stressful occurrence were twice as likely to end up with the common cold.

So find some down time, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or just sitting quietly listening to mellow music. Even fifteen minutes a day can work wonders.

  1. Get Spicy

Take some turmeric. It contains curcumin which is an immune system booster, exactly what you need during cold and flu system. You can get whole turmeric powder in tablets or capsules.

  1. Bad For Your Breath But Good For Your Health

Another great immune booster is garlic. A study published in Advances in Therapy showed that garlic can decrease the frequency of the common cold by as much as 64 percent!

But cooking can ruin the active ingredients, so be sure to mash it or chop it and put some in a salad or something.

  1. Drink Your Green Tea

Green tea has high levels of powerful anti-oxidants to help keep you healthy. It also has high levels of catechin, which can fight and maybe even prevent damage to your cells.

And here’s something to go with “Chill Out” to get rid of that stress! Green tea is high in theanine, which has been shown to have a calming effect and can help you to unwind and relax.

  1. Try Some Echinacea

This one is still up for debate, and there are many in the medical community on both sides of the argument.

However, a study done in 2010 in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that while taking echinacea won’t help prevent a cold, it could possibly shorten the time in which you have the cold. It can’t hurt, so if you feel a cold coming on, you might want to try some.

Nothing you do will guarantee you don’t succumb to a cold this winter, but if you follow these simple tips to stay healthy, you’ll give yourself a great chance of doing so.

Even if you succumb to a cold, chances are you could be healthier, have more energy and feel less stressed throughout the winter.

Author : Aria Meyer is a freelance writer and an active blogger. She writes mainly about fashion and technology, but she also writes about other topics too. She is currently working with several e-commerce websites to help them with content. Aria received her Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Long Beach and is currently living in Walnut, CA. Right now, she is working closely with EMed Items to help them grow the marketing department.

Tips for Managing Stress in the Work Place

Check out this post by guest blogger, Patrick King.

There has never been a time when society has been more strained to push employees to the limits and put more pressure on those employees to produce more than they ever have before. The work week has been continually expanded, and according to one study, over 50% of Americans claim that they regularly work more than 45 hours per week; a majority of salaried employees claim that they regularly work over 50 hours per week. While we could talk for days about what has caused these changes to come about, the truth is that it’s really irrelevant. What does matter is that a majority of Americans work under these conditions and the stress put on those employees continues to rise. While jobs continue to be more stressful, there are some very simple tips that everyone can use to reduce the stress of their work place.

  1. Take Advantage of the Ride Home

Whether your commute to work is 5 minutes or 45 minutes, take advantage of that time alone and do whatever you can to take your mind off of work. Personally, I work in a Marketing Dept., but we work in the same corporate office as our Client Care Center that fields hundreds of calls each day…which you can imagine makes for a very noisy work environment. This ride home is your chance to leave work at the office. Whether you prefer to listen to music, or simply drive in silence, do whatever you have to do to forget about work.

2.  Take Regular Breaks

Studies show that people are most productive when they take breaks every 90 minutes. Even if this means that instead of taking a full, 60-minute lunch break, you take a 45-minute lunch, and then take a couple 5-7 minute breaks throughout the day; it goes a long way to not force yourself to focus on work for hours and hours at a time. Along the same lines as Tip 1, it’s also very important that while you are taking these breaks you are taking 5-7 minutes where you just let your mind let go of work. This has little to do with the work you are doing and much more to do with the fact that you brain just needs time where it isn’t forced to focus on any particular topic.

3.   Exercise

This is a tip that most likely just made a lot of people cringe. This is another thing in our country that is hugely misunderstood. Most people feel like they either need to not exercise at all, or be body building fitness experts. Believe it or not, there is a middle ground, and that middle ground is one of the keys to minimizing stress. What we mean by exercise is just some physical activity after the work day is done. This can be as simple as maintaining a garden, or in colder weather, walking a block down to the store a few times a week to pick stuff up. Again, the idea is to really focus on forcing your body and your mind to recognize that you are out of the office and no longer working. When you can fully leave the work place behind, that’s really when your body will start to relieve that stress.

Patrick King is the Search Marketing Manager for Premier Laser Spa, the nation’s leading provider of laser hair removal. When he’s not at the office, he really enjoys blogging to take his mind off the daily routine.

Your Hair, Your State of Mind: Emotional Effects of Hair Loss in Women

Standing in front of your bathroom mirror every morning, you notice more and more strands of hair left on your hair brush. At first, the loss may not be noticeable. You may frown and wonder why, but with a busy day ahead, your mind soon shifts to other more pressing issues.

Over time, you’re still able to cover up the thinning area, possibly styling your hair differently or even buying a volumizing spray. However, at a certain point, you notice your scalp becoming visible. The hairs become further and further apart. You have a busy life, and doctors’ visits aren’t normally something you have time or money for.

This change in appearance is affecting your self-esteem. Even if your hair was never one of your favorite features, you now realize it really was your crowning glory. You may find yourself turning down the chance to hang out with friends or even avoiding going out in public. Hats may start to become part of your daily wardrobe.

It practically goes without saying that any sort of hair loss (or alopecia as it is known in the medical community) is cause for alarm; it is a good reason to go straight to your doctor and determine the cause.

If you get nothing else from the time spent reading this, it should be this: the sooner you are able to determine the “root” cause of your hair loss, the sooner you can begin to form a plan of action and cope with its effects.

So what are the emotional effects of hair loss in women?

  • Concerns about aging. We unconsciously relate our loss of hair with a loss of youth and therefore inevitable aging.
  • Dissatisfaction with appearance and poor body image. A change in hair or altered hairline can really change a person’s appearance. Perception of this change as negative can have a profound effect on a person’s overall self-worth.
  • Decreased self-esteem. A sense of physical attractiveness is an essential element of self-esteem. When hair loss occurs, it can rapidly lead to a negative opinion of one’s overall pride.
  • Loss of confidence. Along with embarrassment and shyness, hair loss can easily result in loss of confidence in women. Where we were once able to approach social situations, we may now feel inadequate.
  • Jealousy and envy. Coveting other women’s healthy locks is a common reaction to hair loss in women. This feeling of inadequacy can often fuel other emotional effects as well.
  • Introversion and depression. If left untreated, the emotional effects of hair loss can result in a woman isolating herself and suffering from clinical depression.

Each of the above repercussions is completely normal. Losing your hair is traumatic at any age no matter the cause; however, there is hope!

Medication, such as Minoxidil, have created new hope for women experiencing alopecia. You can also take heart in the fact that hair loss due to hormonal changes is often temporary. Even complete hair loss due to chemotherapy treatment is considered a temporary condition.

In the mean time you can boost your confidence by:

  • Shopping for a wig. It may sound superficial, but the minute that you slip on a wig you may quickly feel up to leaving the house again. Wigs have come a long way, and now even many acrylic wigs look very realistic. You can shop for a wig that closely matches your natural hair or go for a new look.
  • Finding a hairpiece. You can mask localized hair loss with the use of a clever hairpiece such as a topper for the crown of your head.
  • Experimenting with colorful scarves and hats. These can be worn alone or as a combination. You can search Google celeb looks and you’ll find that they are actually very much in fashion.
  • Focusing on your health. The only sure-fire way to give yourself the best chances of coping with your hair loss is to prioritize a healthy diet and get the right amount of exercise. Consider taking up yoga, which integrates elements of both mental and physical wellness.

Hair loss in women is actually much more common than you might think. If you or someone you know is suffering from it, the first step is to determine the cause. After a visit with your doctor, you can begin to cope with the emotional effects.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to friends and family about your condition, take the time to join an online forum or discussion group. Sometimes it can be surprisingly easy to type your feelings out anonymously. You’ll be amazed by how much support is actually available.

You can also consider seeking professional therapy to help you process your emotions related to hair loss. In the meantime, keep in mind that your feelings about the condition are perfectly normal. Breathe in, develop a plan of action and this too, shall pass.

 

Written by Nyima Bieber

Top 7 Instruments Your Student Can Try

Check out this post by Aubrey Moulton.

When you are trying to find an instrument that your student can try, you need to think of all the things your student is capable of.  You want to match the abilities and needs of the child with an instrument.  Each instrument can give the student a whole new world to explore, and the instrument can become the student’s profession in the future.

Guitar

The kid who wants to learn how to play rock music needs to make sure that they learn how to play guitar. You can purchase guitars in many sizes, and kids can move on to bass guitar if they want to learn to play all the instruments in a rock band.

Piano

Piano is the king of all instruments, and it works well for children who are very coordinated. The piano is also a good instrument to start with when children want to explore other instruments or write music. The child who needs assistance working on their coordination may be helped by the piano, but the piano may not work well for a student who has a hard time doing different things with each hand.

Drums

A student who wants to become a musician can become a drummer if they do not enjoy fiddling around with smaller instruments. Drums and percussion are great for the child who has a great deal of energy, and the smallest drum kits are inexpensive for parents to buy. The drums make way to other instrument, and they may be a good companion instrument for the child who is learning to play piano.

Violin

The violin can be sized to fit the student, and it is an easy instrument to begin on. The student can grow with their instrument as they progress, and they can begin very young. The violin is also a gateway to trying other string instruments. The student who wants to play Cello may need to start on violin first.

Flute

The flute is a good instrument to start on because it does not use reeds. The student can simply form a whistling shape with their mouth to make a sound, and they can play simple tunes. When the flute is too long for the student, they can get a curved head joint that they can use to make the instrument easier to reach.

Saxophone

The saxophone is the most modern of all the woodwind instruments. It is so modern that it is very easy to learn. The student can begin a lifelong process of learning the instrument, but they will feel comfortable when they start on the instrument as a young child.

Trumpet

The trumpet is a unique instrument in that it comes in multiple sizes. You can give a pocket trumpet to a very small child who wants to learn, and they can graduate to a full-size trumpet when they are big enough. Each and every child who starts on trumpet can move on to other brass instruments in the future if they choose.

When kids want to start on an instrument, the seven above are the best ones to choose. Once the beginners have moved on, they can learn anything they like.

Continue reading “Top 7 Instruments Your Student Can Try”

Why Regular and Natural Detox is so Important For Your Body

The word “toxins” has sort of become the newest boogeyman in the world of health and wellness. People blame them for health disorders, stress, aging, and many other things, and there are many products meant to help you detox.

But why is it important to get rid of toxins? Does it even matter? Here are a few reasons you should detox regularly:

  1. Fight chronic disease — Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and many neurological diseases have been linked to toxic buildup in the human body, so detoxing can help to reduce your risk of developing these diseases. Toxins can also causes these diseases to worsen, which is why it’s a good idea to detox regularly if you suffer from a chronic illness.
  2. Promote weight loss –– Did you know that toxins stop you from losing weight? Toxic buildup in your body causes your metabolism to slow down, and it can even prevent our bodies from being able to burn fat properly. By detoxing, you get rid of the toxins that are stored in fat cells and which slow down your metabolism.
  3. Improve immune function –– Toxins are difficult for your body to get rid of, so your immune system is often called in to fight off these invading chemicals. This distracts it from its true threat–infections and bacteria–and it may cause you to get sick. Detoxing frees up your immune system to focus on keeping you healthy and free of disease.
  4. Reduce signs of aging — When you age, your skin, organs, hair, bones, and muscles degrade, and that degradation is only made worse by toxins. Toxins can cause free radicals to form, and those free radicals can cause the aging to worsen. By detoxing, you increase the amount of nutrients your body can absorb from the food you eat.
  5. Improve the health of your skin and hair –– When your skin begins to wrinkle, fade, and sag, it is often the result of toxins building up beneath the skin’s surface. Toxins stop your body from producing the collagen and elastin that keeps your skin looking great, so it’s important to detox for your skin and hair’s sake!
  6. Boost digestive health — When you have a lot of toxins built up in your body, your digestive system is unable to function properly. You’ll find that problems like IBS or leaky gut syndrome are often the result of toxic build-up in the intestines or stomach, so detoxing regularly can reduce the risk of digestive health issues.
  7. Improve quality of life — When you use detoxing products like detox foot patches or baths, you reduce the risk of toxins causing headaches, sleep problems, joint pains, digestive disorders, fatigue, and so many other problems that can reduce the quality of life.

Need any more reasons to detox? It’s so vital to your health that it’s hard to imagine a month going by without a natural detox!

Written by Chris Miller

Fluoride: A Deadly Deception

Many of you, like me, thought that fluoride was beneficial. It helps prevent cavities, you need it in our drinking water, and so forth. There are many reasons to avoid fluoride, but I will only discuss a few of them.

  1. Fluoride does not prevent cavities. Dentists are trained to tell you that you need fluoride to prevent cavities.  I stopped buying fluoride toothpaste last year. Tom’s of Maine makes fluoride-free toothpaste for adults and children. My son didn’t have any cavities on his first dental visit. If you notice, all “training toothpaste”, like Orajel is fluoride-free. The label also says “Safe If Swallowed”. So, does that mean that fluoride toothpaste is NOT safe if swallowed? When I was using fluoride toothpaste, my teeth were prone to cavities. Streptococcus mutans is actually the bacterium that causes tooth decay. A friend told me that she recently started using coconut oil instead of mouthwash, and it appears to be working.
  1. Drinking fluoride water is not beneficial to your health. Again, fluoride water claims to prevent tooth decay. I’m going to give you the chemical formula breakdown of fluoride. It comes from Fluorine, which is a chemical element that exists as a highly toxic gas. When it reacts with water, it forms hydrogen fluoride and hydroxide.  In layman’s terms, I wouldn’t want to drink water with any chemicals in it. Use a water filter and obviously don’t buy the gallon jugs of fluorinated water from the grocery store.
  1. Fluoride has been linked to brain damage. Various animal studies have shown fluoride to affect behavior and learning by interfering with certain brain functions. With that in mind, studies have also shown that it can also lower IQ.
  1. Fluoride affects the thyroid. I know those, including myself, which suffer from thyroid issues.  Beside fluoride, there are other chemicals in the water, like chlorine, that suppress thyroid function; they compete with iodine absorption. The thyroid gland needs iodine to perform properly. My doctors haven’t given me a concrete cause for my thyroid nodules or prescribed any medication.

You may be thinking as you read this post that you don’t have or show signs of any health issues. Well, 6 years ago, I didn’t have thyroid nodules. There was a time when I didn’t have any health issues. Any type of preventive measures that you can take now will help you in the future.

 

Benefits of Maca Root

Until recently, I hadn’t heard of maca root.  I was working out with a friend. (Conveniently, she has exercise equipment in her basement). She showed me a bottle of powdered maca root that she had purchased from GNC; the label said that it was good for energy and libido. It actually dates back to ancient Incan history. I was intrigued. I tasted some of her grilled broccoli seasoned with maca powder; it was very flavorful, like stir-fry broccoli.

When I researched it further, I saw that it has lots of benefits for both men and women.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction and Fertility. As previously mentioned, maca root has been used historically to boost male libido. It improves sperm count, which improves fertility. One culprit of erectile dysfunction is heavy alcohol consumption; however there can be other factors such as chronic illnesses (i.e. diabetes), stress, medication, or injury.
  2. Endurance.  In addition to increasing testosterone, maca also increases endurance for athletes. As your energy levels increase, so does your endurance. (As an addition, I’m sure it will help your sexual stamina as well).
  3. Menopause and Menstruation. Whether we are childbearing or middle age, as women, we know that both of these can be a pain to bear (pun intended). Maca root helps to balance hormone levels and alleviate symptoms such as menopausal hot flashes, menstrual cramps, PMS, fatigue, and heavy or irregular cycles.
  4. Acne. Since most acne outbreaks are hormonal, it makes sense that maca would clear up this issue dramatically.
  5. Depression.  People that suffer from depression have low levels of serotonin in their bodies. Maca has been shown to increase these levels. Again, it all relates to energy. When you suffer from depression, you have little or no energy. It is difficult to get out of bed even if there is a reason to do so.

Maca is also called “Peruvian ginseng“. If you decide to try it, it is available in both capsules and powder form at any health food or vitamin store.

Caring for Kids During a Divorce

Check out this post by Georgina Evans.

Going through a divorce is a tough time for the two individuals deciding to walk in separate directions. However, when there are kids involved, this puts extra strain on the situation. There are ways of dealing with this big event in a sensible and restrained manner. The divorce will affect every kid differently; they may be shocked, frustrated, upset and angry. This is why it is so important to make sure that the kids get every inch of support that they need. It is essential that both parents put their differences aside when dealing with the children. Make sure they know that they are loved and things will get easier. This guide is here to offer a template to how to deal with this situation in the benefit of your children.

Breaking the news

There is never an easy way to break such news, but it is best if possible for both parents to be present in the discussion. This enables the children to ask questions to both parties and offers a clear understanding of the situation. The conversation will be different for whatever age the kids are and their level of maturity, etc. In whatever case, it is vital for the parent to persist that what has happened is between them and is not the children’s fault in any way.

Restrain from conflict in front of the kids

For the sake of the children’s well being, it is best to keep heated discussions away from them. It will just escalate their worries and will upset them further. Legal talk should be kept well away from the kids also. It is not fair to discuss such matters in front of them. To make it easier for the kids, it is important to converse such matters in privacy.

Avoid disruption to routines

If parents stir up the usual daily routines due to the divorce, this disruption will add to the child’s confusion of the situation. Home life will be unsettled at this time, so keeping the usual routine going offers the children stability and structure. Children yearn stability so it is key to continue this. Undoubtedly there will be some occasions that you may have to disrupt the child’s daily routine, but it is vital to keep this to a minimum to avoid further upset.

Both parents must stay involved

An imperative point about caring for the children during a divorce is that it must be an equal and shared responsibility of both parents. They must both stay engaged in the kid’s lives to reinforce their parental figures. This will assure the kids that just because the parents will not be together anymore, this does not mean the child will not see them.

No negativity to one and other

It is important to confine blame about each other to discussions with friends or family away from the home, or therapy sessions if the parents so wish to do so. Conversing about personal issues with one another in front of sensitive ears can impact on the children’s views and feelings towards both parents. Hearing the parents being bitter towards each other will distress the kids and add more confusion to a situation they will find hard to grasp an understanding of.

Do not seek advice from the kids

Adults will need thorough support from friends, family and professionals during this upsetting time of separation. It is unfair to seek out support from your kids, as this will be offering them a biased view on the divorce. The kids may appear like they want to give you support, but for their sakes it is best to restrain from this. Perhaps discuss it with them when they are older and more mature to deal with the topic of discussion.

Dealing with kids reactions

Depending on their age and personalities, all kids will act differently. However in most circumstances, the parents must be prepared for lots of questions. The children may feel guilty and scared. It is imperative to keep the child reassured and be clear about what is going to happen. Some kids may not react straight away, so in this situation it is important to let the child be aware that they can talk to you whenever they feel ready to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Cures: Secrets “They” Don’t Want You to Know About – A Book Review

I am an avid reader, especially if it can positively impact your life. Kevin Trudeau is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About that he self-published in 2004. I read the updated 2014 version. It was very informative; I was very impressed with his personal story. Some concepts were new to me, and others I have put into practice as it relates to food.

The book includes natural cures for over 50 diseases and ailments. If you decide to read the book, don’t just read that chapter. Trudeau gives plenty of background information to help you having an understanding of the “real” truth. For instance, he discusses healthcare in America, the reasons people get sick, weight loss, and the reasons that people are overweight.

Whatever the case, you have to take charge of your own health. About 3 or 4 years ago, I started researching the quality of food and healthcare.  There are a lot of great resources in this book, but you’re not expected to follow everything. Eliminating one bad habit and replacing it with a smart one can make a big difference in your health.  The things that seem so simple and make sense are the most difficult to do. (I talk to people about eating green vegetables and they look at me strangely). I don’t get offended. I do it for MY HEALTH.   If you want to lose weight, feel better, and be healthy, your lifestyle needs to change.

Time for Tea

It’s almost the end of October. Soon, it’ll be time to turn on the heat and pull out our sweaters and coats. When it gets cold or if I’m under the weather, a cup of hot tea always makes me feel better. Various types of tea, whether it’s black, chamomile, green, or another variety, has its benefits.

  1. Black Tea. With a little honey and lemon added, black tea is soothing for a sore throat. Also, many Asian dishes have tea incorporated into them to enhance color and flavor (National Geographic). Also, black tea can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and control diabetes. Organic black teas are always a great choice.
  2. Green Tea. You can use green tea for cooking as well to enhance the flavor of food, like shrimp or rice. It also works as an antioxidant, lower cholesterol levels, burn fat, control diabetes, and reduce inflammation in the joints and digestive tract.
  3. Lemongrass tea. If you like lemon, this is very soothing for your stomach and helps to fight cancer.
  4. Herbal tea. Herbal teas do not contain caffeine. When you go to an upscale spa, they have a variety of these teas available. The idea is to relax. A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime will help you sleep.

If you drink at least one of the teas mentioned above, you should see a difference in your health.

Continue reading “Time for Tea”