Keeping Healthy This Winter

It may have been a warmish October in places, but November?

We’re feeling the chill in the air and the cold, wet weather seems to have finally come upon us.

For many people this change is not a big deal.

This is particularly true for those that are young, fit and healthy.

However, for those with weakened immune systems and older adults (especially those over the age of 65), this change in the weather can lead to serious health conditions and health deterioration.

Yet there are some things that you can do to help prevent this!

[1] If you are older, make sure that you keep yourself warm. This can include wearing an extra layer, or even turning up the heating.

Heating your home can be expensive, but please, if you can, do, and if you can’t afford to, please ask for help.

It’s understandable that you might not want to, but not doing so can worsen conditions such as arthritis and isn’t very good for your circulation either.

[2] Make sure that you’re getting enough water! It’s really easy to let this one slip by in the winter, particularly when it’s cold outside and you keep the water in the fridge! However, it’s still important.

Drinking water will not only help keep your skin from getting dry, but it will also help keep your body healthy.

Your body cannot do anything without water, so give it a helping hand.

[3] Try to pioneer a healthy lifestyle. It’s even more important in the winter to fuel yourself on healthy foods and to partake in regular exercise.

Both of these things help to boost your immunity and will help you when it comes to fighting off those nasty bugs, colds and flu’s that travel around.

Most importantly, don’t forget to look after those close to you.

If you know an elderly person that lives on there own, please check on them and make sure that they are ok.

The Dangers of Sitting Down All Day

Do you spend half of your day sitting down, staring at your screen?

You are not alone, and it can be hard not to in a world where you are stuck at a desk for a large part of your day.

Despite the fact that a lot of people know that this is bad for you, the actual effects of it are not widely known and so, it is just put to the back of our minds.

The further it is from our minds? The less we do to counter it.

The most prominent side effects of sitting down all day according to a study done made up with almost 800,000 people are: an increase in the risk of diabetes, an increase in cardiovascular sickness, an increase in death via cardiovascular sicknesses and general low levels of well being.

All of these conditions have serious health and life altering implications and so, simply changing some key behavior’s can reduce your chance of serious health issues.

The main way to reduce your chance of serious health issues brought on by sitting down too much, thankfully can be broken down and enacted in chunks.

This way you can still do your desk job without getting in to any trouble, and reduce any risks to your health.

This does not however, mean that you can stop doing exercise too!

Every adult needs to do around two and a half hours of exercise every week to stay fit and healthy.

Yet, alternating working whilst standing and working whilst sitting, walking around whilst you are speaking on the telephone, walking over to a colleagues desk instead of emailing them and swapping the television for something a little more active can seriously help to reduce the risk you are putting yourself under.

What do you do to keep yourself active at work?

The Importance of Dental Hygiene

beta glucanWhen you think of dental hygiene, your mind probably takes you to a place filled with dentist’s chairs and fillings.

You don’t however think of the impact that your dental health has on your immune system and the implications that bad dental hygiene can have, (that is besides the extra fillings and tooth removals!)

Think of it this way; Your mouth contains more than 500 different types of bacteria species in it at any one time.

These bacteria easily get in between your teeth and form a film over your gums every time that you open your mouth, eat or breath.

The only thing that is stopping them from entering your body entirely is your saliva.

The saliva in your mouth contains lots of antibodies.

This is what stops you from getting sick all of the time (the mouth being a super easy entrance for unwanted infections and virus’!).

However, when you are feeling run down, or have a pre-diagnosed condition such as diabetes or an autoimmune deficiency, the number of antibodies in the saliva becomes reduced.

For this reason, it is important to stop the bacteria and build up of plaque in the mouth with good dental hygiene so that not only will you not have to deal with the painful dental treatments, but also so that you will reduce your chances of getting sick.

In addition to the affect that dental hygiene has on the immune system, the mouth is also a huge window into telling us about the human body and your health in general.

Most people may not realize that their saliva alone can tell doctors about stress responses, hormonal imbalances, antibodies and even tell if a person has HIV or not.

So, next time that your dragging your feet and postponing going to the dentist, think twice.

Flu Vaccination

beta glucanIt’s that time of year again, when all those pesky flus and colds jump back on the scene and threaten to make you feel ill.

However, a lot is being done to prevent the spread of flu and colds, particularly to those who are most vulnerable to infectious illnesses and the complications that can sometimes occur.

Namely, this is done via the flu jab.

Presently the flu jab is available to those over 65, pregnant women, adults with prior health conditions and those with weakened immune systems.

Despite there being no guarantee that the vaccine is 100% effective at preventing flu and it’s various symptoms, it has been incredibly effective at reducing the chance of someone that had been vaccinated against flu catching it in the future.

It’s high success rate is due to the fact that it contains an inactive version of the flu.

As the vaccine contains an inactive version of the virus, it is thereby it impossible to catch even a weakened version of the flu from the vaccine.

Instead your immune system is exposed to a safe version I of the virus, enabling it to produce the correct antibodies straight away, and preventing the vaccinated individual from contracting it in the future.

Although you will not contract the flu from the vaccine, it is possible that having the vaccination will cause some side affects.

These side affects range from a heightened temperature to muscle aches and pains.

It is still however recommended that those in the at risk categories do have the injection.

This way, it will prevent any future complications.

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.