Activities To Try This Autumn/Winter

beta glucanJust because it’s getting colder out doesn’t mean that you should skimp on the exercise.

Thankfully, there are lots of ways that you can keep yourself fit and healthy without diving into a freezing cold lake or exposing yourself to a whole host of unfavorable elements.

To make it easy for you to stay on top of things this autumn/winter we’ve compiled a few of our favorite activities that may help inspire you to keep up your fitness however dark the days might get.

 

  1. Yoga

With the darkness gradually enveloping us all, it might be a good idea to keep centred and energised with a nice relaxing yoga class.

Not only can you stretch yourself into shape, but you can also boost your mental outlook at the same time, keeping away that energy draining feeling you can get when you’ve not been exposed to enough light throughout the day.

Best of all? You get to do it inside!

 

  1. Ice skating

Yes it’s cold, and yes you might fall on your bottom more times than you’d like to admit, but there is something quite romantic about ice skating at this time of year.

Grab some friends and make a day/ night of it. Socialising and exercise, the perfect combination!

 

  1. Kickboxing 

Fancy something a little more high energy than yoga?

Why not try kickboxing!

The cardio workout can help to tone your muscles and be an outlet for stress and frustration, as well as helping to boost your confidence.

What’s not to love?

 

  1. Dance 

You may not have danced since you were a little kid, but did you know that it can help keep you energised and alert?

Not only that, but there are tonnes of classes to choose from, and so if you don’t like one, you can always try another!

Dealing With Tiredness When It’s Perpetually Dark

beta glucanWhen the alarm clock rings at 6.00 am and it’s still dark outside it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and roll over, ignoring the world outside altogether.

Most people, although finding it hard to drag themselves out of bed in the morning usually feel better after they get up.

However, if you feel lethargic throughout the day and this is a noticeable difference for you from the lighter summer months, then you’re not alone.

This lethargy is usually referred to as winter tiredness.

The main reason that winter tiredness exists is because the days are shorter and therefore you get exposed to less light, making you feel sleepy earlier on in the day than in the summer.

The natural sunlight can affect chemicals in the brain causing a response. At the lower end this exhibits itself in tiredness and lethargy and can go up all the way to severe depression and seasonal affected disorder. However, you can do a few things to fight it.

Get Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D also known, as the sunlight vitamin is responsible for helping bone health and can boost your energy.

If you can’t get the vitamin directly from the sun, then make sure that it makes up a proportional amount of your diet.

Don’t Oversleep
Even though it can be extremely tempting to sleep in more in the winter, you are no more in need of sleep in the winter as you are in the summer.

Try to get 8 hours, but try not to stay in bed for much longer as it will only increase the feeling of lethargy.

Exercise
Exercise can boost not only your energy, but your mood too.

Even though you might not feel like doing anything too energy consuming, getting some exercise will make you feel better.

Why not try something like yoga to start off with?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

beta glucanOctober is breast cancer awareness month, helping to spread the message regarding the importance of looking out for the beginning signs of breast cancer.

It is estimated that one in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime making it a disease that leaves hardly anybody’s lives untouched.

However, by finding the disease early, it is a lot more treatable and can be cured entirely, so knowing the steps to take to check your body every now and then could provide vital.

How do you do this?

A majority of people rely on TLC, which stands for touch, look and check. Here’s why:

Touch

It is important to feel your breasts on a regular basis so that you can be aware of any changes.

Having a lump doesn’t always mean that the lump is visible, besides if you get used to doing this on a regular basis, you will be more likely to spot any abnormalities if they do occur.

Look

Looking at your breasts can be just as important as feeling for lumps, as this is what is on the surface.

The most important signs to look out for are any changes in size or shape, your skin changing texture or colour (becoming inflamed), change in the direction of your nipple, nipple discharge or crusting or a rash.

If you find that you can see one of these changes, make an appointment with your GP.

Check

This is just a final reminder to check your breasts on a regular basis.

Doing so can help put your mind at ease, and in the circumstance that you do spot anything unusual, you will be able to visit your GP earlier and either find that this is normal, or get the treatment that you need as soon as possible.

Dealing With Seasonal Change

beta glucanYou may not have spent the summer lounging around in the sun, drinking pina colada’s and listening to the sea as the sun sets a deep red over the ocean, but the sudden darkness and chill that October brings with it can come as a bit of a shock to anyone.

Not only this, but a lot of people actually blame this sudden change in weather on their health complaints.

More often than not, people will complain that they are feeling run down and not themselves this time of year, but is their any truth to it being because of the weather change, or is it something else?

Well, although cold temperature in itself cannot make you sick, the change in weather can put extra strain on your body.

If you spent the summer eating fruit and exercising, then you are probably less at risk when the weather changes of succumbing to this extra strain.

However, if you spent it lounging by the pool, drinking alcohol and eating junk food, then you may.

The main reason for this difference? Your immune system.

When your body undergoes a lot of stress, the immune system gets weakened.

This does not only have to be mental stress either, it can also mean environmental.

So, when the weather changes and the environmental stress reaches it’s pinnacle, your bodies natural defence gets weakened.

When your immune system is in it’s weakened state, probably helped along by lifestyle choices and other factors, it is more susceptible to germs and illness.

So, yes the change in weather can actually make you feel run down and ill.

However, not all is lost! If you know that you get sick during seasonal changes make sure that you are doing everything that you can for your body.

Eat healthily, drink lots of fluids, exercise and if that’s not enough, try out our Beta Glucan 500.

Hopefully then Autumn will bring you changing colours and surroundings instead of a nasty cold!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)… What Is It?

beta glucanObsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is an illness that is often used as everyday terminology and thrown around out of context and without much thought.

The main reason for this being that most people don’t really understand the implications of such a disorder are, and therefore without really meaning to, decrease the seriousness of it by applying it to things that may be aligned to obsessive compulsive behaviors, but aren’t.

These behaviors include but are not limited to; excessive hand washing, cleanliness, and repetitive actions.

However, what most people don’t realize is what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder actually is and how it can really impact an individual’s life.

Obsessive compulsive disorder occurs in an individual when they feel like they have to do a particular action otherwise something bad will happen.

The only way that the individual can feel relief is if they carry out the action.

The actions that the individuals affected carry out are often repeated in cycles, and are usually done the same way each time that they do it.

The anxiety that not doing the action causes can cause the individual a lot of distress.

Even if the reasoning behind the anxiety does not always make sense, the threat in their mind is a very real one.

As the anxiety is very real, it can be hard to treat, but it is not impossible.

Most people go to their doctor when they feel that their OCD is taking over their lives.

When it gets to this point, many doctors will recommend cognitive behavioral therapy and counselling.

If your friend or relative is diagnosed with OCD, or you think that they may be suffering from it, the best thing that you can do is be there for them.

Talk to them if they are open enough with you to do so, and lend them a helping hand if they are feeling anxious, and most of all, don’t make light of the situation.

Asthma Getting You Down ?

beta glucanAsthma primarily occurs when the airways that carry the oxygen towards and away from your lungs become swollen, making the airways particularly sensitive.

This means that when allergens such as dust enter into your airways, the tubes contract making the pathway to the lungs smaller.

When this happens, it causes the chest to tighten resulting in coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

It is with these symptoms that most people go to the doctors looking for an answer.

Although asthma has become more recognisable over the years, what most people don’t recognise is that although this disease can be managed, and managed to the point of feeling ‘normal’, it’s not something that completely goes away.

One of the main reasons that asthma can continue throughout a person’s life is if the trigger was an allergen.

This is because of the reaction that it has with the body and the effect that it has on an individuals’ immune system.

Once the allergen, in this case, the dust or pollutants in the air enters the body and is considered an intruder (which it will be when it makes your airways contract),the body will recognise it as a threat.

The main way that the body deals with this is by setting off a chain of reactions, including the main symptoms of asthma.

According to the NHS over 5.4 million people are receiving treatment for asthma in the UK alone.

Due to this, it is clear that allergens are not the only trigger for asthma.

Asthma can also be triggered by things such as repertory tract infections, airborne irritants,chemicals, medicine, air conditions, exercise and even strong emotions.

Thus,the best thing that you can do for your asthma is give your body a fighting chance.

Keep your immune system in top condition and stay away from irritants.

Of course, this may not always be simple, but it might just be worth it in the long run.

Treating Eczema

beta glucanEczema can be a horrible affliction, especially when it continues well into adulthood.

Usually a skin condition that affects children, eczema affects patches of skin, usually behind the knees, on the elbows and around the eyes and ears.

As well as causing the skin to become inflamed and red, be very dry, and often cracked it can also be incredibly itchy.

When you take into consideration that this skin problem is around already sensitive areas such as the eyes and ears, you can only imagine the discomfort.

However, it can be treated, and statistics show that in 65% of all childhood cases of eczema clear up by the time the individual turns 16.

This is great news for any parents that are worried about their children with eczema.

We know that your immune system gets weaker when you are under a lot of stress, are eating badly and in an unfavorable environment, but it’s lesser known that eczema can be triggered by  hormonal changes and even genetics, although it hasn’t yet been discovered why it is genetic yet.

However, once you have undergone a consultation with your GP they should be able to give you some cream to help clear it up, and if it’s serious they may give you some oral medication too.

Yet, there are some natural things that you can try too. These include:

  • Eating more probiotic foods like yoghurt, ginger beer, and miso.
  • Using a thin layer of coconut oil to treat the affected area (if you are not sensitive to coconut oil that is!)
  • Take cod liver oil supplements at least once per day.
  • Try not to scratch the affected area, it will make it more inflamed and may break the skin.
  • Try to find out what is irritating your skin (if there is anything) and avoid it the best you can, sometimes the best cure is prevention!

Alzheimer’s Disease

beta glucanAlzheimer’s Disease can be incredibly scary, not only for the person who is going through it, but also for the people around them.

However, it doesn’t need to be.

When your health deteriorates, even if it is because of age, there are still things that you can do to help relieve the symptoms.

Even if you are the friend or family member of the person that has it, it is important to remember that there are also things that you can do to not only increase your understanding of what is going on, but to help with controlling symptoms and the health of the affected individual.

When disease attacks the brain there is no knowing how the individual affected will respond.

Sometimes they may understand what is going on, and actively try to pursue a ‘cure’, but other times they may be confused and not really understand what is going on.

It is during these times that the people around them and the people that they love are needed the most.

Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there has been a lot of improvement in slowing down deterioration in the past few years.

Some studies even suggest that coconut water could be a natural way of helping the individual with Alzheimer’s disease to reduce their levels of confusion and even lessen their rate that they deteriorate.

Of course, this hasn’t been proven yet, but it does offer some hope that a cure will be found in the future.

One of the main things you can do to help your friend/ family member who has Alzheimer’s is to be there for them.

When they say and do odd things, don’t question it.

When they mix up words or fall asleep in random places simply smile and wake them up gently if need be.

It’s an awful, awful disease, but there is support out there such as the Alzheimer’s Association in the USA or the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK.

Don’t be scared to get help.

Period Pain and How to Relieve It

beta glucanSome women have a hard time when it comes to their time of the month.

Not only can it cause lots of pain and discomfort, but it can also cause a loss of time at work and school.

Of course, not all women suffer from period pain to the same extent, however, regardless of the amount of pain felt, it is important to realize that it is a normal part of the cycle, and part of the way the body works.

When you come on to your period, mild contractions start to pass through your womb.

When this happens, the blood vessels in the womb get cut off, stopping the flow of blood and oxygen from flowing freely to your womb like it would usually.

When this happens, the womb begins to release chemicals that trigger pain throughout your body, including your back, legs and tummy.

Sometimes, when these pain triggers are particularly strong, they can have the effect of making some women physically sick with the pain. At this point it is probably time to see your doctor.

Yet, if you do suffer from bad periods and don’t want to rely on painkillers, there are some things that can help you to fight it naturally….

  1. Exercise: It’s probably the last thing that you want to do when you’re on your period, but it can help to ease the pain and relax your muscles.
  2. A warm bath: A warm bath has a similar effect to exercising in that it relaxes your muscles. This is important as the more relaxed your muscles are, the less constricted the blood vessels become, meaning that less pain inducing chemicals are released. A warm compress such as a hot water bottle can also help.
  3. Yoga and meditation: The more relaxed you are when you are on your period, the more relaxed your muscles become, making the pain easier to deal with.