An anti-biotic resistant strain of the STD is making the rounds in England.
There are things that happen during pregnancy that we love to talk about, like how you have a mother’s nurturing glow, how the baby is kicking, and how perfectly round your belly is getting. On the negative end, we also love to vent to our friends about the heaviness, the swollen ankles and those surprising bouts of morning sickness that happen in less than ideal situations.
After the pregnancy is over and the beautiful bubba is born, the conversation switches to how the baby is sleeping, debates over breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, and quick snaps at anyone who asks you how your weight loss is going post-pregnancy. One thing that isn’t talked about a lot is what actually happens to the body after birth, especially sensitive areas like the breasts.
A recent post on Vogue about what happens to breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding had me thinking about this even more. I’ve always joked to my partner that after we’ve finished having kids, he’ll have to buy me a breast lift to make up for the soccer team he wants, but for a growing number of women out there, getting a breast lift is no joke; it’s a way to feel like yourself again after giving your body to your children.
While stretch marks are newly taking some focus after birth, it’s still not a popular conversation to have about what happens to a woman’s most intimate places on her body; namely her breasts and vagina. Vaginal rejuvenation has become a popular topic, especially in Hollywood, but it seems that we are still hiding what our breasts are like after birth.
Every woman and her body are completely different, and our bodies react differently to child birth and breastfeeding, but for those who happen to sag significantly, it can affect self esteem and happiness. If you’re thinking that it’s shallow to want a breast lift after pregnancy, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But we should all have the right to feel great about ourselves, even if it means having a little help to get your breasts back to what makes you feel fantastic.
Women are slowly getting there in terms of what is socially accepted to speak about, but I think that what happens to a woman’s body after she nurtures a life is very important. This shouldn’t be a deterrent from breastfeeding; quite the opposite. Women should be empowered to feel great after having given birth to new life. They shouldn’t feel ashamed for not feeling happy with their bodies and shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting a little extra to feel great again.
It’s a new era, a new time; women can talk about these things. And we should be talking about these things and letting each other know that we are all beautiful and we all have the right to define beauty the way we want to, without judgement or critique. Let’s start being open about what giving birth is actually like and start being more open about the way women feel, and are allowed to feel.
Image via welladjusted.co
The television show that helps people change their lives and better themselves is back. That’s a pretty vague description, I know – it could be used for virtually any reality show out there. Would it narrow it down if I said it’s the one that pushes contestants to their absolute limits to help them lose weight? Now you know what I’m talking about; The Biggest Loser is back on Australian televisions with families competing to lose the most weight and gain that big cash prize.
I’ve always been skeptical about The Biggest Loser. It dramatically changes lives through gruelling exercise and an intense diet to lose the weight that has been impacting on their health and quality of life, but is it really done in the right way?
Yes, it’s amazing to see the transformations and to see what these people can become, but it doesn’t exactly promote sustained weight loss with contestants shedding large amounts of weight per week – much more than the recommended 0.5-1kg for healthy weight loss.
The Biggest Loser in America was slammed by former contestants recently, saying that the way they were treated was dreadful and that the show caused them health problems. Long, intense workouts, baby food diets and constant fat-shaming from trainers caused their mental health levels to drop.
Former contestants also allege that many others that have been on the show have gained back the weight they lost during the season. While this is not a surprise, it backs up the point that the show’s way of weight loss is unsustainable, and is merely for entertainment and shock value.
So, what do we really need to think about when we watch The Biggest Loser this season? We need to evaluate whether it’s worth watching overweight contestants sweat out all of their fluids for days on end to gain a money prize. We need to evaluate what their health is worth. And we need to evaluate what our health is worth and how we see ourselves.
If there’s anything that we can get out of The Biggest Loser, it should be that we need to take action now. If the kilograms are starting to creep on, it’s best to sustainably get yourself back to a better quality of life, with a healthy diet and safe exercise. We have health professionals who are willing to help and the best cure is actually prevention.
Image via illawarramercury.com.au
In a world full of valuable objects including technology, money and fast paced fashion, perhaps the most valuable thing we own is not material, but how we feel. Something that can’t be bought is time and so often we feel there is never enough time in our busy schedules to finish our duties or have some time to ourselves.
Living in such a world where everything moves so fast, we find ourselves unable to switch off for a good night’s rest, waking in the morning unsatisfied with our mediocre sleep and the commitments of the day ahead.
Sleep is valuable to our brains and bodies. Not only do we rest when we sleep, but we are allowing ourselves to unwind and our bodies to heal. When we lack sleep, we lack energy, focus and the ability to get through the day smoothly.
Unfortunately, we could be hindering our sleeping success without even realising it, so take a look through our top tips to help you get a better sleep.
Give up the gadgets
Start to put away the gadgets before you get into bed. Reading from anything that has a backlight like your phone, computer, or tablet can suppress your melatonin production, which makes it harder to get to sleep. Turning off the TV and laying in your bed without the distractions makes it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Ditch the afternoon coffee
You might think you’re immune to caffeine by now, but it’s stopping you from getting to sleep. Snacks like chocolate also contain hidden amounts of caffeine, so avoiding dessert may actually help you sleep better.
Schedule in regular exercise
Regular exercise is proven to help you sleep better, as long as it’s not too close to bedtime. Morning exercise can help to wake you up and prepare for you for the day, but aim to finish intense afternoon exercise three or more hours before you’re due to call it a night.
Create a sleeping routine
Humans like to get into a habit, and sleeping is no different. Working with your routine, getting to sleep and getting up at the same time everyday can help you sleep better. This also includes limiting daytime naps to ensure that you can get a good quality sleep when you hop into bed at night.
Image via cherryflex.com
Japan is known for sushi, Geisha girls and the spectacular Mount Fuji. And over recent years, has also become known for its life expectancy, which is among the highest in the world. Currently home to the oldest man in the world, Japan’s population has a very high percentage of residents who are aged 100 or over, with the majority of these being women.
According to the World Health Organisation, Japan’s life expectancy is in the top ten highest in the world with males reaching 80. However, Japanese women have the highest life expectancy in the world at 87. Japan often holds the record for the oldest man and woman in the year, but after the death of 117 year old Misao Okawa in April this year, 116 year old Susannah Mushatt Jones from New York is now the title holder.
Despite this recent take over by the USA – who doesn’t make it into either male or female top ten list in terms of life expectancy – the Japanese know how to maintain their health up until old age. Many of the Japanese age record holders have attributed their longevity to healthy eating and getting plenty of sleep. Not smoking or drinking and keeping relatively active were also factors in maintaining good health long-term.
A strong emphasis is placed on the quality of food as many Japanese people consume fresh fruits and vegetables with less oil content than Western nations. They also consume more units of seafood compared to red meats. They do however, have a higher salt content with miso soup and soy sauce being a regular occurrence at meal times. A lesser consumption of dairy and less overall calories helps to keep Japanese residents healthier than their Western counterparts. Staying regularly active from gentle activities such as walking and bike riding are also credited for a higher life expectancy.
Priding themselves on great lifestyle choices, Japanese people can expect a longer life expectancy, though Australia is not far behind with men down under having a life expectancy of 80.5 and women of 84.6. It seems that Australians are trying to make healthier decisions to keep them living longer.
Image via japaneseammo.com
There’s a must have when it comes to working out, that in recent years has inspired many Instagram posts, tweets and Facebook selfies. No, it’s not the brand of protein that you use, or how much you lift; it is of course, what you wear when you hit up the gym.
Brands like Lululemon, Lorna Jane and Nike have encouraged women, and men, to invest in some fabulous workout wear to enhance their workout and encourage them to exercise. But what about those of us who haven’t jumped on the overpriced bandwagon and have continued to workout in shorts that we wore for sport at high school? Are we not getting as good of a workout as our sisters dressed in neon patterns?
Of course we are! It seems silly to think that buying pretty, matching workout gear actually makes us work out more. If anything, it just means more mirror selfies with a pair of weights at your feet. Or yoga mat selfies. Or…you get the point!
But then the question arises, are those of us not dressed in the latest gym fashion intimidated at the gym? Us ladies can be self-conscious when pumping iron as it is and having the pressure of those around us looking like they’re coming off a fitness runway can be daunting.
It’s another instance in which we feel that women are being pitted against each other in competition of being the most fabulous or the most fit. Workout wear is classed as another way in which we can feel inadequate. Those of us not dressed like a Nike billboard can feel a little shameful of our oversized t-shirt and old leggings combo.
In a bid to gain our own self-confidence and feel great no matter what we do or wear, we need to learn that it doesn’t matter what you put on when you go to the gym. As long as you’re comfortable, wearing clothing and shoes that support your body, and are in something that you can smash a workout in, it really doesn’t matter what you have on. However, if you’re in booty shorts, it does – because those just go straight up your ass.
Once we start to care less about what other people think and do, we can be so much happier within ourselves and not have to feel inadequate because someone’s hot pink leggings are brighter than your own.
Image via workandworkout.com
When keeping healthy, a lot of us think about what we put in our mouths and how many times a week we should go to the gym, therefore mental health can often be neglected. So often we’re thinking about how we look on the outside, that we forget about how us, or others, might be feeling on the inside.
Depression affects many people in a lifetime, and while you might not be suffering from it, people around you might be and sometimes the way people act can hide how they’re actually feeling. That’s why we need to talk to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues and ask them: “Are you okay?”
RUOK? day, on September 10, is a reminder to regularly ask the people around you how they’re doing. A simple question can save the life of a loved one and can help those who are struggling with life at the moment.
Started by Gavin Larkin, this not for profit organisation came about after Gavin’s dad Barry tragically committed suicide, leaving the family in deep grief with many unanswered questions.
A feeling of depression is often lonely, so asking that simple question can help break down walls that have been built up. Asking the question itself can be daunting, but it’s important to be prepared and pick your moment well.
The first step is asking the question and this can be in any way that feels natural to you. Mentioning specific things that you have noticed and are concerned about. The second step is to listen. Listening to what they say, taking them seriously and understanding how they’re feeling is a great way for them to feel comfortable enough to open up and let you know what’s really going on.
After you’ve had the conversation it’s important to encourage action, whether it be encouraging them to take time out and have a little me-time, or encouraging them to see a healthcare professional. Family and friends are the people most likely to persuade someone to get help.
Following up after your conversation lets the person know that you are giving them long-term support. Being genuine with your care is what makes all the difference.
Take this time this RUOK? day to connect with family and friends and make sure that everyone is doing okay. You could help save the life of a loved one.
Visit the RUOK? for more information.
Image via katiemac.com.au
We’ve grown up to believe that it’s every girl’s dream to find that special guy and have him take us somewhere romantic, drop down on one knee and pull out a beautiful diamond and ask us to be his wife. That’s what we’ve be taught through advertising, movies and old fashioned values from when we are a young child.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having that dream, but not every woman wants to wait until the man is ready to ask and some women don’t want to get married at all. On top of all that, saying yes to marriage is a huge commitment and with divorce rates skyrocketing, it seems that decisions are being glamorised by an amazing proposal while relationships for life aren’t being considered.
Saying yes to a proposal is something that should be really thought about. Do you want to marry this person, or are you just after the label of being married or the stability of a marriage? Could you spend your whole life with this person and is the relationship ready to move into marriage territory?
Saying no to a proposal is tricky. You feel like you’re going to break your partners heart, but it’s important to explain to them why you’re saying no instead of a blunt rejection. There may be a number of reasons that you feel you can’t say yes to this proposal. You may not be ready for marriage, you may not want to get married, or you may not feel the same way about the person asking you.
It’s better to say no to a proposal than to lead your partner on. One of the important things about saying no is letting them know why you’re saying no, especially if it’s not to do with them as a person. It can be very easy for a relationship to go south after rejecting a proposal, so it’s important that the asker understands why you’re saying no. If it’s because you don’t want to marry them as a person, they need to know that and you can both assess the relationship and where each of you is going. If it’s because you’re not ready, or you don’t want to be married but still want to stay with the person, let them know this.
Saying no to a proposal is heartbreaking, not just to the one who is asking, but for the person saying no – knowing that you are going to very much upset your partner is traumatising. What both of you want in life is an important discussion that needs to be had as the relationship progresses so that you can both let the other person know how you feel about important topics such as marriage.
Communication is key in a relationship, even when it comes to something that you want to be a surprise, like a proposal. Wouldn’t you rather ask at a time that you know is right and get a yes than ask at the time you think is right and get a no?
Image via americangemsociety.org
I think we all know how tough it is to get your running shoes and sports bra back on after a long break from working out. Maybe you were injured or sick, or maybe it was winter and snuggling in your warm bed just sounded so much better than trudging to the gym in the cold.
It’s officially spring – and those who paused their workouts for the winter are starting to get back into fitness, but I can guarantee you of some of the thoughts that will pop into your head as you struggle through those workouts in your first week.
I am so puffed already.
During the warm up, most likely. “Really, the warm up could now be the main event I’m puffing so much. What is regulated breathing? How did I used to do this? I’m super unfit and I’m red already!”
Can that person hear me breathing?
“Do you think that person next to me notices my heavy breathing? They don’t have headphones in so they must wonder what I’m doing. Is my wheezing getting too loud? Maybe I should just give them a smile so they know that I’m okay.”
Is it possible I could die from this?
“I mean, I used to do this, so the possibility of me dying is low. But all this heavy breathing, I can’t even talk. Do you think that guy would save me if I fell to the floor? Imagine getting mouth to mouth at the gym. From a stranger. Sweaty, gross mouth to mouth. Ew.”
Hold on, I think I may be dying.
“My legs are weak, I’m wheezing away, my face is beetroot red and I’m sweating everywhere. It is possible that I may be about to fall on the floor and crawl to my car. Why do I do this to myself?!”
Time for a break…
“How did I ever used to enjoy doing this? I feel so awful. I’ll just go lay on a mat and do some ab exercises. Or maybe I’ll just lay here for a bit and stretch. Maybe I’ll just pretend to stretch while my brain comes back from its overheating, oxygen deprived holiday. It’s a miracle I’m even in the gym today, so I’ve done enough to warrant a tweet about how great my workout was.”
Image via vidavibrante.com
It’s hard to know what to say or do when one of your friends is dealing with grief. Grief is so different to all of us and we go through multiple stages of loss that affect all individuals in different ways. You can never truly relate to someone else’s grief, just like no one can truly relate to yours because everyone’s experiences are all so diverse.
While your friend is struggling with grief, the best thing you can do for them is be a line of support. Listening with compassion and empathy is very important so that your friend knows that you’re there for them. Simply listening is sometimes one of the best things you can do while your friend lets out their feelings to you, but other times, be prepared to sit in silence with them; just having your presence will show your support.
Accepting and acknowledging the feelings without minimising the loss that your friend is going through is also very important. It’s also best not to offer personal advice or mention anything about moving past this or what you have to be grateful for. While someone is grieving, let them grieve and accept the loss on their own terms. There is no time limit on grief, and we all work on our emotions differently.
That being said, offering long term support is important in knowing how your friend is healing. Making assumptions about how a person looks means that you could be overlooking how they are still feeling inside. Long term support means accepting how they’re feeling and helping out on special days such as birthdays or anniversaries.
Physical support is also often needed, such as grocery shopping, taking kids to school, looking after pets and helping with meals. Often grief can overwhelm a person, leaving them feeling helpless and as if their life is out of control. Giving physical support can help things continue smoothly so your friend can grieve properly.
Support is the one thing that your friend needs while going through a period of grief, so never underestimate just being there for someone. It’s a hard part of life for the both of you, but having a friend through this time is one of the most important ways to show that you care.
Image via blokesupport.com.au
I think we can all agree that getting a Urinary Tract Infection (or UTI for short) is on of the most annoying things that can happen down there, along with thrush, of course, if we’re going to be talking about day ruiners. That feeling of having to pee constantly, when you literally just went to the bathroom and that burning feeling when you do urinate is uncomfortable to say the least.
A UTI is an infection of the urinary system which may occur in the kidneys, bladder, urethra or a combination of all three. But do you actually know what causes a UTI? The most common bacteria that infects us is E.coli, which is found in our gut, and thus our faeces.
Us women are more susceptible to UTIs than our male counterparts, purely because of biology. Having a small urethra means bacteria doesn’t have to travel far to make its way into our bladder and since our urethra is located so close to the anus, there is a larger chance of bacteria tunnelling its way up.
If you haven’t had a UTI before, or even if you have, watch out for symptoms like burning when you urinate, foul smelling urine, a frequent and intense urge to urinate even if nothing comes out and feeling tired or shaky. If you start to suffer from a fever or chills, you know the infection has reached your kidneys.
Having to pee multiple times per day usually is annoying enough without feeling like you have to go even more, so prevention is obviously better than a cure. You should avoid holding in your urine for hours at a time as this can cause the growth of bacteria. Emptying your bladder frequently is very important.
One of the biggest reasons that women get UTIs is from wiping in the wrong direction when they urinate. We should always be wiping from front to back to ensure that we are not taking bacteria from our back passage and wiping it directly onto our urethra.
Urinating shortly after sex is also recommended to flush out any bacteria that may have made its way into your urethra during the act. Drinking lots of water to flush out your system not only keeps you hydrated, but it helps to keep your urethra healthy while wearing cotton underwear instead of nylon to let your lady parts breathe and stop the growth of bacteria.
While going to the doctor and grabbing a round of antibiotics is the best option for a UTI, you can also help yourself out if you can feel one coming on. Cranberries are often a home remedy for UTIs and while there isn’t much research to back it up, taking cranberry tablets may help out your urinary tract. Drinking plenty of water is also a great way to flush out any nasty bacteria that is trying to affect your life.
Image via herbalpharamacist.com
Spring is almost sprung. Can you smell the flowers? Can you hear the birds tweeting? Can you think of any other spring cliches to put into this question? I’m sure there’s many more about the start of spring being a magical time of the year where lambs are born and you get to frolic in the sunshine.
In reality, our springtime is more about what we’ll be wearing to the races, getting our bikini bodies back on track and cleaning out all the stuff that has consumed our house over the last year.
When spring starts, it’s as if we are reborn. It’s almost the same feeling you get during a new year, where anything is possible and you feel motivated to get stuff done. After all, have you not thought to yourself during this month: “I’ll just wait until spring to start my diet/start exercising/start hand washing my delicates, a few more weeks won’t hurt.”
One cliche that we should be living by is spring cleaning and getting rid of the things in our house just as the weather warms. Spring cleaning isn’t just great for the way your house looks, it’s good for your health.
While cleaning seems like the biggest chore, decluttering your house is fantastic for your mental health. Clutter is mentally exhausting and can cloud our brains. When the space that we inhabit is not clearly presented, it can cause stress, which we all know is less than ideal. Winter is the time where we collect things, making a nest for ourselves inside our own homes. It could be magazines that have been bought for warm, weekend reading or it could be the clothes that are hanging in front of the heater to dry. Spring cleaning means getting back into our lives with a clear mind, thus clearing the clutter.
Having a good spring clean also increases our productivity. Organising your home is great for your mindset, but also for your wallet as there is no need to replace things that seem to have been lost. Cleaning out clothing is also great for local charities who can benefit from the clothes you will no longer wear by giving them to someone in need.
Mental health benefits: tick. Money benefits: tick. Let’s get onto getting that summer body back right? Having a great spring clean of the house gets you moving! Cleaning is great exercise, so put some tunes on, work your way around the house and find that sports bra that’s been hiding all winter to get back into your healthy routines.
On top of all of this, spring cleaning gives you that sense of satisfaction when you’re done. Sure, it might be a huge and exhausting job, but just imagine how great you’ll feel once you’re finished and you can sit on your clean floor, watch TV and eat some pizza knowing that you’ve done something great. You’ll be as happy as a 1950’s housewife advertorial.
From the start of time, women have known the perils of wearing a pair of heels. The pain in your toes and the balls of your feet, not to mention the heightened risk of tripping over or rolling an ankle makes heels a little bit dangerous. But as always, girls like a bit of danger and can’t seem to stay away from a bad boy, or in this case, a good looking pair of heels. If anything, we’re more attracted.
But while in this situation, our heart may be screaming yes when we look in the mirror, out feet are often screaming a huge hell no. Some of the best looking shoes can cause the most pain, but the love and search for the perfect pair of heels will always trump what our feet are saying to us.
This means that we may be suffering from bunions, corns and callouses to even more serious issues like hammertoes. If you’re yet to suffer from any of the above, we doubt you’ve avoided the seriously excruciating pain that comes from blisters that sit in the ball of your foot for days after your long night out.
While doctors give the fair warning about what heels do to your feet, they know women love a good stiletto and so add pre-cautions like picking up on foot issues early and treating problems early on. After all, a little high heel pain never deterred a girl, did it?
Snapping up products like extra gel cushioning for the ball of your foot and the back of your ankle can often help to counteract pain caused from heels, but that also comes down to ensuring that you are buying the right size and shape heel for your foot. Prolonged heel wearing can also shorten the achilles tendon, which is definitely not good, so you should always make sure to stretch out the calves and ankles.
Open toe heels are also recommended over closed toe heels as they can relieve pressure on corns and callouses that are affecting the feet. If that’s not a reason to grab yourself a pedicure every fortnight, I don’t know what is!
Image via flipboard.com
Sending a sneaky sext to your hubby during the day can help to raunch up your sex lives, build affection and let loose when you both get home from work, having worked on your sexual chemistry earlier in the day. It gives both of you something to look forward to and adds a bit of naughtiness to your playtime.
But before you all launch at me with your hair straighteners and your eyelash curlers about how bad sexting is and how it ruins lives and careers and everything else about a woman, please just hear me out.
I’m not talking about sending a sext to the guy you just met on Tinder, or the one that you starting dating last week. I’m talking about sending a surprise sext to the man of your dreams, who you are in a stable and long term relationship or marriage with.
Spicing up your sex life after being together for that long could be as simple as sending him a message about how you can’t wait until he comes home tonight so he can check out your new lingerie.
Sexting shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence; like anything else that happens everyday, it gets a bit boring. It’s a once in a while way to add some excitement to the things that sometimes take a back seat to work, family and other commitments.
And while it’s all a bit of fun and games for you an your partner, researchers say that sexting can actually be great for the both of you. It has been found that sexting leads to increased satisfaction in relationships. Letting your partner know how you feel about them isn’t away from the norm when you discuss it in person, and with the rise of technology, sending a sneaky sext can let your partner know that they’re on your mind during the day.
If you’re wondering how to start out your sexy string of messages to your man, it’s best to begin slowly, with a little bit of a tease to ignite the fire in him. As for photos, if you want to send through some sexy snaps or suggestive signs, try not to include your face. It could be as simple as sending him a photo of your lingerie laid out on your bed or the top of a hold up stocking with a some suggestive wording.
Images via womenshealthmag.com
Music does wonderful things for the brain. It’s a quintessential part of a breakup, to give you something to cry to by someone who relates to your pain. It’s a must have for a wedding, to convey your love through the tunes being played as your walk down the aisle or have your first dance. And it gives you thrills and chills in movies, to really set the scene.
Music plays on our emotions and we know that it can mentally heal someone who is dealing with grief. But recent studies have shown that music can actually help our bodies to heal better after surgery. How amazing is that?
Doctors have recently written a piece for medical journal The Lancet to detail how music improves the recovery time after surgery for patients in hospital. The often ignored, non-drug treatment is said to have many benefits including reducing the activity of our nervous system, thus lowering the pulse and the blood pressure of the patient.
Listening to music before, during and after surgery can affect perceived intensity and unpleasantness of pain, which enables the patient’s sense of pain to be reduced. This also reduces anxiety levels.
So what kind of music is going to help you to recover when you come out from surgery? There’s no right answer for that, it’s about what sounds good for you. As music is a personal choice, your recovery songs are all going to be different, whether you like a bit of Guns ‘n’ Roses or Taylor Swift.
This research was done to help promote non-drug related pain tolerance methods that are often ignored. Doctors are so quick to reach for drugs in order to get things done, when there may be a non-drug related solution that is better for the body.
London-based researchers found that the effect of music was consistent across many different types of surgery and music styles and that patients should feel free to request their favourite songs, as long as there was no interference with medical equipment.
If you happen to be going into surgery soon, good luck to you, for one, and ask to be able to listen to your favourite tunes to assist in your recovery process; it’s much better for your body to have music help you to heal.
Image via gettyimages.com
It’s the things in life that we never really stop to think about, like being able to put food on the table, having enough money to pay the bills and just being alive and living a healthy life. When things get busy and you’re stressed and feeling down, it’s easy to fall into the trap of asking why things are so hard for you.
That’s why being grateful is so important in life. It’s about remembering how lucky you are to have what you have, being humble and helping out those who are less fortunate than yourself. When I was younger, I always used to complain about how ugly my feet were and how my feet would never look good wearing open heels or sandals. My mother would look me right in the face and say: “At least you have feet to walk on,” – this really hit home for me.
Being grateful is about valuing what you have in life and it’s fantastic for your attitude, your happiness, and your health. Gratitude in your life leads to lower levels or stress and depression, as well as more positive emotions and higher levels of life satisfaction.
By ignoring the urge to dwell on the things that haven’t gone your way and being thankful for the things that you have received in this world, you are allowing yourself to see the positives in life.
Those who show gratitude are more likely to take better care of themselves by engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthier diet. Being grateful is also said to be an immune system boost as being optimistic leads to better immune function. They are also said to engage in more protective behaviours when it comes to health, like scheduling regular check ups and taking a ‘prevention over cure’ attitude.
One way that you can start to focus on what you are thankful for is by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down daily the things of the day that you are grateful for. By focusing on the positives of the day, you are helping yourself to de-stress and become a happier, healthier person.
Image via theunboundedspirit.com
Yoga is all about the health of your mind, body and spirit and it has gained popularity all over the world. As a gentle exercise with a long list of health benefits, yoga is often advertised by celebrities on Instagram, suggested by health professionals and encouraged among communities as a way of healing the body and promoting wellness.
However, yoga does come with a stigma of being only for those with flexible genes and not an exercise that mere mortals should try. While this is far from the truth and you don’t have to be naturally bendy to try yoga, like any fitness activity, yoga does pose some risks if the positions and practice are not being done correctly.
Claire Nettley, president of Yoga Australia, is passionate about individuals trying out yoga for themselves. Part of Yoga Australia’s mission is to develop and promote the best practice for yoga, which means having registered teachers who know how to teach positions correctly.
“In recent years, yoga has become increasingly popular due to the number of health benefits it provides to not just the body but the mind and spirit also,” says Claire. “Whether you have tried it or not, most people would have a fair idea of what yoga entails, however there a few thing you need to take into consideration before you start. Yoga, like any form of exercise that challenges your body does have some degree of risk if not performed correctly.”
Common yoga injuries can range from issues in the lower back, such as disc problems, strained hamstrings and knee and neck complaints. With that being said, Claire knows how important it is for you to stay injury free during your practice and so has put together some tips about avoiding common injuries associated with yoga.
Finding the right yoga instructor
Whether you are a first timer or an expert in Yoga, your first point of call is finding an instructor who has formal training and is a registered yoga instructor. This seems like common sense, yes? But believe it or not, a recent study has shown that 68 per cent of yoga students who were surveyed never asked their instructor about their qualifications – despite knowing it was important.
Why is it important?
You might be asking how your choice of instructor can prevent injury. It’s quite simple really – a qualified yoga instructor understands how to teach a posture correctly and can correctly recognise when a particular posture or movement is not suitable for certain people. Remember everyone has their own limits and some movements may be easier for others.
Finding the right yoga style for you
There are a number of yoga styles which involve various levels of difficulty. These styles range from gentle, easy stretches such as Hatha yoga, to more advanced movements such as those in Ashtanga yoga. It is important to start with a style that is not too challenging for you. Starting with beginner classes is a good way to understand the basic fundamentals of yoga without putting too much pressure on the body.
Know your body
Yoga can help release any tension you may already have, but if you do have injuries prior to taking up yoga, it is important to be aware of these injuries and inform your teacher before your first class. Push yourself to try new things, but within reason. Know what your body is capable of.
If you are thinking of taking up yoga, make sure you do it right. If you are unsure of what’s best for you or are looking for a registered teacher in your area, visit: www.yogaaustralia.org.au.
I am a reality television junkie – and it hurts to admit that. It’s pretty shameful to say that I love watching TV shows in which either a) celebrities go about their daily lives, b) normal people get into a competition for something, or c) outrageous people are actually paid to party and do stupid things. I like to justify it by saying that it comes from my own stressful lifestyle where watching trashy TV shows is like time out for my brain.
However, it’s impossible to turn my brain off completely and that’s why when watching The Bachelor the other night, I thought about how completely immoral and stupid it is to pit women against each other for a man they don’t even know. But of course, this is obvious, and often why the show is opposed by feminists and anyone with a brain.
It’s the fact that strong women still put themselves in this situation, where they are quite literally competing against other women for the affections of a man that they barely know. While watching the show from the comfort of your own home, you actually feel uncomfortable in the way that these women are portrayed as petty and jealous, with every move and look scrutinised purely for the entertainment of the audience.
For the women on the show, being in The Bachelor mansion could be having a detrimental effect on their self esteem. Putting all their energy into trying to win the affections of a man and whether they are successful or not in gaining his attention and affection is almost a cry for help regarding self-worth and self-esteem.
However, it could go both ways. On one hand, these women could be so sure of themselves that whether or not they win a competition to get a boyfriend will not affect them or the way they see themselves. On the other hand, they could be taking to heart the producer’s choices and/or Sam’s choices and making mental notes of all the things that they deem not good enough to land them a man on a television show.
In that respect, we do have to praise the women who leave the show and tell their last piece to camera in a way that empowers them to get back out there and be themselves to find the right man for them.
It’s a bitter world out there and while I do love a good Bachie romance and am looking forward to Sam Frost killing it on The Bachelorette, we do need to ask ourselves whether someone’s self esteem should be worth our entertainment.
Images via popsugar.com and yahoo.com
In the unfortunate event that you eat some bad chicken, some dodgy seafood or rice salad that’s been left out too long, you might end up spending a night with your toilet instead of your bed.
Food preparation, cleanliness and quality are all factors that can affect your stomach when eating out or even cooking in your own kitchen. And let’s be honest, food poisoning is an absolute bitch.
While being cautious when eating from street vendors, kebab shops and anywhere overseas can help you avoid the wrath of your upset stomach, sometimes you can get hit in the most unexpected of places. You wouldn’t think twice about eating cake batter or cookie dough, but those raw eggs pose a problem when it comes to sanitation.
While you usually can’t do anything about the unstoppable diarrhea or the gushing vomit that escapes from your mouth and nose, there are a couple of things that you should be doing to ensure that you help yourself recover from a nasty bout of food poisoning.
Drinking lots of water
You definitely need to rehydrate yourself after having some many fluids drained from your body. Making sure that you’re drinking enough water and having an additional oral hydrating solution is the best way to get the fluids back into your body and ensure that you don’t get dehydrated.
Eating bland foods
This one should be obvious, but when you’re suffering from food poisoning, the last thing you should be doing is re-eating things that made you sick in the first place. Eating dry toast and biscuits and avoiding dairy and meats should be your main priority to help yourself back to normal.
You probably feel like you’re dying and you don’t actually want to go out anywhere, but don’t feel obliged to go back to work or attend any prior commitments while you’re recovering. You never know when you might need that toilet – it’s best to stay at home.
Go to the doctor
If symptoms are persisting, go to the doctor to get checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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Bali has an infamous reputation of being the party capital of the world. With Kuta a usual starting point for visitors, it’s easy to become overwhelmed in the bustling streets and hectic nightlife.
That’s why it’s great to take a trip out of the usual tourist options and head up into the hills to the town of Ubud. While still a tourist attraction, Ubud is much quieter than other popular places in Bali and is one of the best destinations to travel to, to relax and rejuvenate.
Health spas and wellness retreats are common in Ubud, which is mostly seen for its culture, art and connection with nature; yoga and meditation are a way of life. If you’re looking for a getaway that is more ‘me time’ than land marks, Ubud is the place to go to spend some time with yourself and focus on your wellbeing.
Denpasar Airport is a mere six hour flight from Sydney, with Ubud sitting an hours drive north of the city. Among the lush green fields and forests lie your pick of retreats that are sure to rejuvenate you and help you to de-stress for your life back at home. Ubud is all about healing the mind, body and soul with spiritual remedies.
Many retreats and resorts will offer you activities such as daily yoga, temple visits, rice field walks and meditation, as well as amazing spa treatments to really help you let go of any stress that you’re holding. Joining a retreat will also include your meals, with chefs cooking up healthy and organic meals to help your holiday cleanse.
There are ancient temples, arts and crafts communities and small villages around Ubud that have you connecting with Indonesia in a way that doesn’t involve vodka shots and clubbing. As a great cultural experience and a chance to restore your health and relax in a great country, Ubud is a must on your holiday bucket list.
Images via lonelyplanet.com
One of our life savers during the day is the promise of a lunch break. Besides Friday afternoon, looking forward to our lunch hour and what we’ll be gorging on is something that undoubtedly crosses our mind every day. Even when you absolutely adore your job, that hour to do as you please is a slice of heaven.
When work and life stresses get the best of you and things like exercise and healthy eating take a sideline, it’s easy to fall back into bad habits that can be detrimental to health. An example of that is the mid-year spread, when winter becomes the time of creamy pastas, hot chocolates and a whole lot of sitting on your butt, both in the office and at home.
That’s why using your lunch break as a health boost is a great way to save yourself time and get yourself in a great mood for the afternoon and the three o’clock slump ahead. Simple things that you can do on your lunch hour can give your physical and mental wellbeing a good kick and you can get yourself into the habit of having yourself a healthy lunch break.
Get some sun
Give your Vitamin D a boost by getting out of the office and taking a walk in the sun. Not only will getting fresh air clear your mind, getting enough Vitamin D also increases your resistance to some diseases and to bone issues. Getting out of the office all takes your mind off work for a bit and allows you to think about other things in life that you are grateful for.
Swap processed for organic
Swapping your microwave dinner for a fresh, green salad or some grilled salmon and veggies is the way to go. Keeping your lunch light, but filling, will keep you alert for the rest of the day and will help you to avoid the sugar or carb slump that can affect your productivity.
Sneak in a quickie
A quickie workout, that is! Unless you’ve got a broom closet to be in. Sneak in a half hour workout before enjoying your lunch, or pack your flats and take a walk during your lunch hour. Even doing shopping counts as exercise, so get your wallet working!
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Bowel cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, yet Australia still has one of the highest rates of it in the world, with one in twelve Australians developing bowel cancer every week. Every. Single. Week.
Bowel cancer also has one of the highest rates in cancer in the world, claiming so many lives every day. While no type of cancer is one hundred per cent preventable, this particular disease is seen as one of the most preventable because if caught early enough, it has a very high success rate of being stopped.
Bowel screening is an effective way of testing for bowel changes and bowel cancer in healthy people who don’t show classic symptoms of the disease. The bowel screening test also shows signs of polyps in the bowel, which can then be removed before cancer forms. And if having your poo tested once in a while could save your life, then it is worth doing.
A bowel screening test is encouraged in those over 50 as the cancer is more prevalent with an increase of age. Early detection is key and any changes can then be monitored. Bowel screening can be carried out in the comfort of your own home and your samples sent away for testing. As one of the most private and comfortable tests you can take, it should be widely encouraged in the community.
The symptoms of bowel cancer include blood or mucus in the faeces, unexpected changes in bathroom habits, general discomfort in the abdomen and tiredness. If experiencing these symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you have cancer, but it is something to discuss with your doctor. The causes of bowel cancer are strongly linked to genetics and a family history of the disease, but there is also reason to believe that a diet high in processed meats and alcohol can be behind the cause.
Many people who should have a bowel screening don’t undertake the test. Whether that is due to awareness or discomfort on the issue in unclear, so remind those close to you that prevention is preferred to cure. Encourage your loved ones to take the bowel screening test because something as simple as doing a poo could save your life.
Images via aquido.co.uk
While half the world is in the sweater season, the other half if taking some time off in the sun. Whichever season you’re in, you’re probably also trying to find a way to cover up those bingo wings or stuff them into sleeves. Luckily, bingo wings can be banished. Yes, it is possible to get rid of the wiggly, wobbly bits that sit under those arms. As Denise Austin says, we can always use some “sexy arms!”
If you’re reading this article thinking, “I’m safe, no bingo wings here!” then read on for some exercises to add to your workout to ensure that those bingo wings stay at bay!
1. Overhead triceps extension
Add some weights to your workout to build muscle and burn up the fat that lives in the back of your arms. Hold one weight with both hands above your head, hands facing forward. Slowly lower the weight down your back to your shoulder blades and raise it back up to starting position. Feel the burn in your triceps after completing three sets.
2. Tricep pushups
A tricep pushup is just the same as a normal pushup, except the hands are placed right under the shoulders. When lowering down into the push position, the elbows should be close to the ribs and not pointing outwards like a normal pushup; instead they should be pointing down towards the feet. They’re hard, but once you start to strengthen yourself, your toned arms will be well worth it.
3. Tricep kickbacks
Using a bench for stability, place your left knee on the bench. Hold your weight in your right hand and lift the arm so that your elbow forms a right angle. Slowly straighten your arm back behind your body and then return to starting position. Make sure you really squeeze your tricep as you go.
If you’ve tried to eliminate your bingo wings in the past, just remember: living a healthy lifestyle means making the right decisions about what goes in your mouth, not just which exercises your body does.
Images via realsimple.com and fitwirr.com