Sunday, 8 July 2018

Ten Steps To Improve Your Health

The pressure of a busy life makes following a healthy lifestyle more important than ever. Living in a healthy way can increase productivity, boost energy, increase longevity and contribute towards disease prevention.  The following ten steps can go a long way towards a healthy way of living. 

Photo source: Pixabay

1.  Getting a physical from the doctor is an important first step. A doctor can asses fitness and formulate a plan for any health concerns. 
2.  Once the OK is given by the doctor, an exercise plan can be established. The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults exercise for a minimum of thirty minutes, five days per week, to maintain health. The thirty minutes doesn’t have to be done in one block and can be divided up during the day. Walking is simple, cheap, can be done almost anywhere and is a suitable exercise for most people. If thirty minutes is a challenge, an individual can begin with a smaller amount of time and build up to thirty minutes gradually.

3.  Social people are usually healthier than loners. Socialising has many health benefits including improving mood and reducing worry.
4. Getting enough sleep is a challenge for many people, but it’s important as it’s the body and mind’s way of restoring and rejuvenating.  Going to bed and waking at approximately the same time each day and night, is an easy way to encourage a good night’s sleep.
5.  A balanced diet is an important step towards a healthy way of living. A diet including fibre rich foods such as  fruits, vegetables and whole grains can provide more energy by giving the metabolism a boost.
6.  Dehydration can contribute to low energy and lack of concentration, so it’s important to top up water levels by drinking water and decaffeinated herbal teas. Too much caffeine or alcohol can cause dehydration and should be avoided or reduced.   
7.  Owning a pet is a fun way to to be healthier. Being responsible for a pet can put troubling times into perspective, patting a pet can lower blood pressure and playing with a pet can boost mood.
8.  Too much stress can be detrimental to health. Stress can be reduced with a quick walk around the block, chatting with a friend or participating in some form of relaxation. 
9.  Focusing on being positive for just a few minutes a day can contribute to a healthy way of living. Writing down or thinking about what an individual is grateful for can put life into perspective, boost mood and decrease stress.
10. Spending as little as ten minutes in the sunshine each day can boost serotonin levels. Serotonin can boost mood, reduce pain and decrease anxiety.  

A healthy way of living is accessible for most people. Following the above ten steps can contribute to a happier, healthy lifestyle.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

How To Stay Positive

Remaining positive isn't easy in a negative environment. Pick up a newspaper or turn on the television and you will be bombarded with shocking images and news stories. Positive stories (if there are any), are left until the end of the show or tucked away at the back of the paper.

Advertisements everywhere are urging us to buy items we can't afford, to lose more weight, to live life at 100 miles an hour while still keeping it all together. They would have us believe that being ourselves and accepting ourselves the way we are, is not good enough.

Why do we take notice and keep feeding these negative thoughts? It's because that's the way our minds have been trained and it's easier to slip back into those bad habits than it is to start making new, healthier ones. Try some of these tips, they really work.

Surround yourself with positive people

Surrounding yourself with positive people creates a positive environment. Do you have a friend who is miserable and never has a good word to say about anyone? You could be in a fantastic mood, spend five minutes with your friend, and then feel totally depressed. Spend time with people who make you feel good instead.

Photo Source: Pixabay

Read inspirational books

Inspirational books can really give you a boost when you're feeling low. Why not ditch the newspaper for a few days and check out a library book instead? One of my favorite books is - Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It's packed with inspirational quotes and has a fun exercise for every day of the year. I dip into it when I need some guidance.

Keep a gratitude journal

This is something I love to do. Each night, before bed, I write down at least 5 things I am grateful for. Some days my list will be full of amazing things and other days, I'll write down the basics...having a bed to sleep in, etc.

It's a wonderful habit to start. You will become more aware of your surroundings, focusing your mind on the positive thoughts, rather than dwelling on the negative. You will be more 'in the moment'.

There will always be negative aspects of life which have to be dealt with, but being in a positive frame of mind makes moving forward much easier. How do you deal with negativity and stay positive? You have to work at it every day, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Focusing on the positive or the negative is a choice only you can make.

Love KB


Sunday, 24 June 2018

Health Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate

Indulging in too much chocolate or other sweets has previously been linked to many health issues. However, the good news for chocolate lovers is that all chocolate is not created equally. New studies have discovered that dark chocolate, consumed in moderation, has many health benefits.
A study conducted at Melbourne’s Monash University discovered that eating dark chocolate on a daily basis over a period of 10 years has benefits for high risk cardiac patients and could prevent some heart attacks and strokes. Lead researcher Ella Zomer said, “We’ve predicted significant health benefits of eating 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate every day over a 10 year period.”
Chocolate needs to consist of a minimum of 70% cocoa to qualify as dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols which keep blood vessels dilated, which in turn reduces blood pressure. This reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. There are many other benefits of eating dark chocolate:

Photo Source: Pixabay

Increased brain function

Consuming chocolate may increase blood flow to the brain, which encourages better cognitive functioning, boosts memory and attention span.

Skin protection

According to a study from Germany, the flavonoids in chocolate absorb ultra-violet (UV) light, help protect the skin and improve the skin’s circulation.

Healthy teeth

Believe it or not, chocolate can be good for your teeth. Dark chocolate contains theobromine which helps harden tooth enamel.

Improved mood

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which encourages the brain to release endorphins, which make people feel good. It also contains serotonin, which can help reduce depression

Control blood sugar

Dark chocolate has a low glycemic index (GI) which means it won’t cause a high spike in blood sugar as many other sweet foods do.


Chocolate contains mild doses of caffeine. Dark chocolate doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee so it wild only gives a mild stimulant effect.

Reduce food cravings

A study from Denmark has shown that dark chocolate can reduce food cravings. Some test subjects were given dark chocolate and others milk chocolate. Results showed that the people who ate dark chocolate felt fuller longer and were less tempted to eat unhealthy foods later on in the day.
Dark chocolate has been shown to have health benefits when consumed in moderation and as a part of a healthy diet and exercise programme. More research is being done to discover how taking chocolate as a preventative measure against heart attack and stroke can be beneficial. However, as with any new diet or exercise programme, it is recommended that any changes are discussed with a medical professional.
Thanks for following my wellness journey


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

How Socialising Affects Your Health And Wellness

According to health experts, exercising and following good eating habits are essential for health and wellness. Although these practises are important, studies have shown that people who can be quite ill, but regularly spend time socialising, can live longer than healthier, lonelier people. That’s why it’s important for individuals to get out of the house on a regular basis, and spend time with others.

Photo source: Pixabay

Good friends

Socialising with good friends has many health and wellness benefits. Having a trusted friend to confide in when times are tough, can reduce stress and worry. Laughing and reminiscing can boost mood, improve the immune system and reduce the likelihood of depression and anxiety. People who spend a lot of time alone can become consumed with life and it’s problems, whereas sharing with others may bring a different perspective and clarity.
Having friends can also increase the chances of reaching goals. Giving up smoking or getting fitter, may be much easier if tackled with a friend. Providing and receiving support and encouragement improves the chances of successfully reaching a goal.

New friends

Socialising comes easy to many youngsters, but as people age and circumstances change, it can become difficult to stay in contact with friends or make new ones. There are many alternatives available for socialising. Libraries and community centres offer a wide range of courses, clubs and activities. Social media provides opportunities for reconnecting with old friends. Volunteering is a great way to connect with people with similar interest or learn a new skill. Taking the dog to the park for a walk is great exercise and a place to chat with other dog owners.

Spend time face to face

Social media sights are fun places to reconnect with old friends and start new friendships, but there can be a downside. The technology of today encourages less and less face to face interaction, having a conversation by text or instant messaging can be convenient, but is no substitute for the real thing. There is nothing wrong with having online friendships, they can be very satisfying, but a friend behind a screen can’t give a hug when it’s needed or help a person to look after a sick loved one. Having a combination of internet and face-to-face friends is better than relying on just internet friends.

Support each other

Individuals who have a good support system are more likely to recover from illnesses ranging from the common cold to something mores serious, faster than a lonely person. Socialising also builds confidence and encourages people to take better care of themselves.
Socialising can provide many health benefits. Being out in the world rather than sitting at home watching it pass by can lead to a happier, healthier life.

Thanks for reading my wellness tips.

Love KB

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Easy Ways To Get Back To Sleep

Waking briefly during the night is normal, but falling back to sleep can be a problem for some. Here are a few easy ways to get back to sleep and enjoy a good night’s rest. 

Photo source: Pixabay

Reduce worry time

Worrying about getting back to sleep or the amount of sleep an individual has had, is a sure way to stay awake. Worrying keeps the mind active and the body tense. If this is a problem, it’s a good idea to set aside a worry time earlier in the day to deal with worries before sleep. Leave a notepad and pen next to the bed to record worries that arise during the night. Noting problems down and deciding to deal with them at worry time the next day, can calm the mind and prepare you for sleep. 

Learn to relax

Meditation, deep breathing and relaxation exercises, relax the mind and body without the need to get out of bed. Concentrating on breathing takes the mind away from worries and calms you. A handy way to relax tense muscles is to tense the muscles for a few seconds and then release the tension quickly. Starting from the toes and making the way up the body, a muscle group at a time. This can be done several times, without needing to leave the comfort of the bedroom. Even if this technique doesn’t lead to sleep straight away, it will relax and rejuvenate the body.  
If an individual has been awake for more than 15 minutes, it’s probably time to get out of bed and  relax. Many people turn to the television or computer screen, but these activities stimulate the mind rather than relaxing it. A relaxing activity with the lights low, such as reading a book, soaking in a  warm bath with essential oils or listening to music will provide better results. 

Reduce stimulants

Coffee, cigarettes, bright lights and heavy meals should be avoided before bed. Stimulants wake up the mind and interfere with sleep. Heavy late night snacks take a while to digest and make sleep uncomfortable. A glass of wine may help a person get back to sleep initially, but can lead to a restless night’s sleep and early morning waking. Calming herbal teas or a glass of milk are a much better idea. 
Getting back to sleep doesn’t need to be difficult; staying away from stimulants, assigning a worry time and relaxing body and mind can have a person back to sleep in no time. However, if symptoms persist, consult a medical professional.

Stay well

Love KB 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Lazy Girl's Guide to Fitness

Even the laziest girl can easily improve her fitness levels. It doesn’t require spending loads of time and money at the gym either. The most important thing is to make a commitment to being more active and stick with it.

Most people who are unsuccessful with sticking to an exercise plan or activity,set goals too high at the beginning and lose motivation quickly when it becomes too much. Increasing activity a little each day will soon have the lazy girls looking and feeling fabulous.
Photo: Pixabay

Some tips for increasing activity and staying motivated: 

Don’t think exercise 

Lazy girls think of exercise as going to the gym or running a marathon. There are many easy ways to incorporate exercise into each day just by thinking a little differently about what exercise actually is. Putting a bit more energy into cleaning the house is a great way to burn some calories and work up a sweat. 

Walk the dog

Walking a dog is a great way to improve fitness and burn calories. Being in the fresh air also improves mood and walking a dog in the park is a great way to start a conversation with that attractive stranger. 

Take the stairs 

Many people today don’t think about taking the stairs. The stairs are a good way to get the heart pumping and tone the legs. Start small and increase the number of steps and the amount of times the stairs are taken. 
Do something fun 
Regular exercise is a lot easier to stick to when it’s enjoyable. Go horse riding with friends, ice-skating, take up a dance class or go night clubbing and dance up a storm. Stay away from the cocktails though, too many calories. 

Park further away 

When travelling in the car, park further away from the intended destination than usual. This is a great way to incorporate more exercise into the day. 

Start an exercise habit 

Try to plan some exercise in advance as well as incorporating more activity into the day. Place exercise clothes and shoes out the night before so you are ready to go the next day. It’s also a good idea to exercise at the same time each day if possible. If an activity is repeated at a similar time for over three weeks, it’s likelier to become a habit. 

Stick to it 

Many people are discouraged after a lazy day and give up completely. It’s OK to miss a day of exercise, accept it and carry on with it the next day.
The most important thing is to get started and don’t be discouraged if things go off track. Being lazy is a state of mind and taking action helps change this mindset. Being more, rather than less active will have a positive affect on mind and body. Say goodbye to the lazy girl and start moving.
Enjoy your wellness journey
Love KB

Monday, 4 June 2018

Top 10 Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy oils can be used for a variety of different purposes, ranging from restoring body and mind to repelling insects. There are a wide range of oils and many different ways they can be used. They can be combined, diluted, warmed or used just as they are. Pay attention to the instructions on the bottles to assure you use the oils correctly.

Photo: Pixabay

Top 10 benefits of aromatherapy:
1  Aromatherapy is a great stress reliever.  Many oils can combat stress but Lavender is one of the more popular for this purpose.  Lavender  calms, refreshes and lifts the spirits. Add a couple of drops to your handkerchief and breathe in the aroma when stressed.

2   Essential oils may be used to make your own beauty products.  This will save you money and allow you to choose oils which suit your skin type. A variety of oils can be used for beauty products including Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender and many more.

3  You can use oils in the bath to relax or invigorate.  For relaxation try Lavender and Geranium. Place 10 drops in warm water and you will feel the benefit in a few minutes. For the opposite effect, Lemon, Peppermint and Rosemary.
4   Oils can be warmed in special burners to freshen any room. Choose an oil to suit your mood.
5  Tea Tree, Lemon, Lavender are a few of the many oils which have disinfectant properties. These can be used for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
6   Citronella is an effective mosquito repellent. Tea Tree and Thyme may be used to repel most insects.  
7   A soothing body, foot or back massage can be given with essential oils. Try different combinations to suit.
8  Lavender can be used on burns and insect bites to speed up the healing process and reduce itching.
9   Oils can soothe the symptoms of a cold such as high temperature, sore throat, sneezing and runny nose. Eucalyptus, Lemon, Marjoram and Lavender can be used as decongestants.
10  Lavender oil is great for soothing a headache. Apply a couple of drops to your temples or add a couple of drops to a warn bowl of water, place a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale for a few minutes.
Aromatherapy has many benefits. Mixing and matching oil combinations can be lots of fun but be sure to read the warning labels before experimenting. Some oils are to be avoided during pregnancy and others can irritate skin if undiluted or if skin is exposed to sun.
I use aromatherapy on a regular basis on my wellness journey.

Be well

Love KB


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