Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Water.jpgWater is one of the most important components of the human body, and is integral to maintaining optimum levels of health and fitness.

It is one of the most important components of our bodies system as a massive two thirds of our bodies are made up of water.

Moreover, water is responsible for assisting lots of the bodies every day process.

Without water, we humans would simply not be able to survive, but on a lesser scale, without enough water, we humans can make ourselves sleepy, unenergetic, achy and incredibly ill. But how can you tell if you are getting enough water or not.

Most health professionals recommend that you drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day depending on your level of activity.

This is because if you live a more active lifestyle and often sweat during and after periods of exercise then you will need to drink more water so as to replace the water that you have lost.

In contrast, if you rarely partake in strenuous activity, you lose less water and therefore have less to replace.

By drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day you are making sure that your cells processes are working properly.

When your bodies cells processes malfunction, or stop working at their optimum level, they send warning triggers to your brain which set off a series of physical responses.

These responses are mainly present to prevent high levels of dehydration and can be seen in the following ways:

Headaches

Fatigue

Reduced sweating

The production of less urine than usual (often darker in colour)

A dry mouth

Reduced skin elasticity

If you feel as if you experience any of these symptoms either frequently or infrequently, then maybe it’s time to grab a glass of water, or, mentally make a note to introduce more water into your day as you go about your normal routine.

Not only will this reduce any of the aforementioned symptoms that you may be experiencing, but your skin will also benefit.

By forgetting to drink water, you are forgetting to introduce moisture from the inside.

This makes your skin dull and dry looking, often making you reach for expensive moisturisers.

However, by drinking enough water you can boost your health and your skin. What’s not to love?

Why We Need To Take A Step Back From Technology

technologyTechnology is an amazing thing.

It enables us to communicate with people over the other side of the world, and we have uncapped and uncensored information at our fingertips.

Now more than ever we can learn anything, we can do anything, and we can teach ourselves anything. However, it is possible that we can have too much of a good thing.

Over the past 20 years of information technology being popularised and brought into homes and workplaces, of it shrinking and being able to be popped into our pockets, our concentration levels have dropped, our eyesight has worsened and our self-worth has become clouded in a sea of ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’.

None of these things are good for our physical or mental wellbeing.

Of course it’s easy to say that you need to step away from technology, but with texts and phone calls being on the same device as your Facebook messages and Twitter feed it’s hard to do.

Most of us don’t even put our phones into the same class as our laptops despite them being able to do most of the things that our laptops can.

Moreover, when we take a break from our laptops, we can often be found on our phones, a habit which does nothing for our eyesight, or our memories.

When we use our phones whilst watching the television and feeding the dog, our mind isn’t focused therefore whatever we watch or read never makes it to our long-term memories, making it difficult for us to learn new things.

This constant stimulation also causes us to be more anxious as we are subconsciously frightened of missing something, despite the fact that whatever that something is may not actually be applicable to our lives, or cause us any enjoyment.

It even affects our social lives. When you go out, take a look around. How many people are at lunch with their friends with their phones on the table?

Sometimes we can get so carried away with our virtual lives that we are actually missing that face-to-face communication desperately needed by humans. But what can we do about it?

Get out (without your phone… or at least put it in your pocket!), set specified hours for laptop and smart tablet use and don’t go over them!

Unplug and get out of the house, and most importantly, make time for your family and friends without using your phone every 5 minutes… they’ll thank you for it!

Healthy Habits

healthy habitsI think it’s safe to say that we can all point out at least 5 bad habits we have, regardless of if those bad habits are akin to biting nails, or leaving the dishes out at night!

But, what about healthy habits, and are we able to point out any of those?

It has been proven that we are more likely to do things that we make into habits.

This is why it’s so much easier to stick to exercising once we have established a routine that we have stuck to it for three works or more.

This is why we are able to get into habits a lot easier than we are able to get out of them and this is why it’s important to establish healthy habits rather than unhealthy ones.

 As such we thought it was important to establish some handy healthy habits that everyone can incorporate into their lives, no matter how rushed off of your feet you are, or how crazy your shift pattern is!

[1] Carry around a bottle of water! 

No matter how busy you are, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated.

Carrying around a bottle of water means that you are more likely to reach for it and get the recommended daily intake of water to keep your body functioning at an optimal level.

Drinking water is also great for your skin and can even stop you from snacking.

 2. Swap the chocolate and biscuits for fruit!

If someone in the office is always bringing in chocolate and biscuits make sure you have some fruit on your desk to munch on.

This means that you’re more likely to get your 5 a day and it will leave you feeling much more energised and a lot less groggy after the sugar has worn off!

 3. Eat breakfast!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it helps kick-start your metabolism, stops you from snacking mid-morning and gives you the required energy to start the day.

 Have you got any other healthy habits to add ?

Coping With Fatigue

coping_with_fatigueFatigue is a problem that most of us have to deal with. With longer working hours, less sleep and busy social lives, it’s easy to become a victim. However, it is important to note that although short periods of fatigue are normal, prolonged periods can lead to other health conditions.

These health conditions can include a weakened immune system, an increase in the risk of getting diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease, and can even have a major effect on our life span. Thus, it is important to recognise the importance of getting enough rest, and not to look at sleeping as an unnecessary waste of time.

 When we are sleeping, our body goes through several processes that enable us to function at an optimal level throughout the day. These processes include, but are not limited to; cell repair, memory consolidation, the processing of thoughts and experiences and recovery. The brain also begins to form links between emotions and experiences in this time and can often provide the answers for situations that have presented themselves in waking hours.

Without this time to rest therefore, the body is unable to go through these processes. This is what is responsible for the “brain fog” type feeling that you get when you haven’t slept for a prolonged period of time, and that causes you to experience things like lack of concentration, slow reaction times and an irritable temper.

 Scientists have found that adult humans need around 7-8 hours per night, but how can we help promote healthy sleeping patterns and ensure that our bodies’ aren’t being compromised by poor sleeping habits? Well, the following tips may help!

 1. Make sleeping a routine. Much like eating and drinking, our bodies get used to doing the same thing everyday and will expect it. By going to bed around the same time each day, and getting up around the same time each morning, your body clock will get used to this process and function accordingly.

2. Make sure that you’re bed and bedroom are comfortable, warm and dark enough for you to get enough sleep. There’s nothing worse than being woken in the middle of the night because you’re too cold!

3. Finally, try to cut out the caffeine before bed, and instead opt for a relaxing activity (try to make it non-tech related as the light from screens wakes up your brain).

 Fatigue is preventable, all you have to do is listen to your body and take action, the rest will fall into place!

Red For Heart

What is Red for Heart?heart

Red For Heart is a British Heart Foundation event that helps to raise money across Britain. This money goes towards scientific research to improve our knowledge about heart conditions and to develop cures to the illnesses responsible for more than 161000 deaths per year. Lots of celebrities, schools and organisations get involved with Red For Heart, and this year they are ramping up the red in support.

What heart conditions affect people?

The main heart conditions that affect people in Britain are heart attacks, angina, heart failure, abnormal heart conditions and congenital and inherited disease. Although many of these diseases are inherited or developed early on in the foetus’ life, heart conditions are also influenced by lifestyle choices and making the right ones can help to prevent things like heart attacks and angina. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to research into the causes of heart disease and to help stop the suffering of thousands of people.

How can I help to prevent these conditions?

You can help to prevent some heart conditions through healthy choices and an active lifestyle. This includes eating healthily and making sure that you have a balanced diet with lots of nutrients. By doing this, you will help to reduce your chances of developing heart disease, and if you already have heart disease it will help to protect it and prevent further damage. You can also help your heart by remaining active. This is because if you are physically active, you are less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Of course, this does not have to mean going to the gym everyday, it could be as simple as walking instead of getting a bus, but being active is imperative, and finally, be social. Those who are most social tend to be less stressed and thus, put less strain on their immune and cardiovascular systems.

To find out more please check out the following site: British Heart Foundation

Get 2014 Off to a Great Start With a Healthy Mindset

2014 is here! It seems like only yesterday it was summer and everyone’s skin had a healthy glow. Now we find ourselves in that strange winter period after Christmas, when we have stuffed ourselves with as many minced pies and turkey sandwiches as our stomachs would take, blocking it out with promises to ourselves to go to the gym and cut out the sugar. But there is always that doubt in the back of our minds. “Last year it didn’t work – why will this year be any different?”great_start_2014

Well, I shall tell you why. Before you go to the gym (or not), or embark on any fad diet we are going to talk about maintaining a healthy mindset. A healthy mindset is the key to a healthy body, and maintaining a healthy body leads to increased immunity. So, whilst the gym is a great way of looking after your body physically, you need to know how to look after your mind too.

1. The first step towards having a healthy mindset is accepting yourself, flaws and all. If you go to the gym with the mentality of losing weight instead of getting fit and healthy, you may achieve your goal, but you will not be able to accept yourself as readily as if you accept yourself beforehand.

2. The same goes for dieting. Don’t diet because you think you’ve put on too much weight over Christmas, and don’t succumb to any fad diets either. In fact, erase the word diet from your mind. Eat healthily instead. Eat lots of super-foods and cut down on the sugary treats.

3. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Lots of New Years resolutions are made when comparing our lives to those of people that we admire. Our friends, acquaintances, even the fabulous looking lady on the bus! Just remember, they probably have the same hang-ups as you do.

4. Make time for loved ones. Many of us just don’t make time for our friends and family, and even when we do, we’re so plugged into the digital world that we become preoccupied with our Facebook feed or latest Instagram likes! Turn off your Internet and spend time interacting with real humans instead, social interaction is a fantastic way to relieve stress.

5. Get enough sleep! Not getting enough sleep not only reduces your concentration levels, but it is also responsible for lowered immunity. Not only will you feel less energetic but you are more at risk of illness too, so make sure that you get enough sleep!

And, if you still want to join the gym after all of that, then there is nothing stopping you, just as long as your doing it for the right reasons! Getting gym fit is a great resolution- you just have to stick to it.