Latest Health News

This Video On Non-Active People In Activewear Is Genius

Because life’s too short to go to the gym when you can just fake it.

October 2, 2015

Could The New Apple Watch Tell You When You’ll Die?

If you’ve ever skipped the gym, indulged in an extra donut or opted for the elevator instead of the stairs then there’s a new app for you.

RELATED: Why Wearable Tech is Geek Chic Not Stylish

London-based company Rehabstudio have announced a revolutionary new Apple Watch app that might predict when you will die. Life Clock adds and subtracts time from your predicted lifespan according to your health choices and activities.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Life Clock’s developers say the goal of the technology is simple: to make life better. “We saw an opportunity,” Rehabstudo owner Tom Le Bree told Wired. “We thought, ‘OK, if time is really a human construct, how can we play with it?’”

Apple Watch, Technology, Health, Life

Life Clock works alongside Apple’s HealthKit data. Each user’s unique information about their activities and lifestyle choices are converted to time and displayed on the watch. For example, if you got sufficient sleep last night, Life Clock will add time to your overall lifespan, showing the impact each activity and choice has on your total wellbeing.

On the other hand, if you got less than 30 minutes of exercise today, Life Clock will subtract the equivalent impact that activity has on your lifespan. Then, it recommends ways to improve your health and increase your overall lifespan. Talk about the ultimate motivation tool!

While Le Bree admits the science isn’t 100 per cent accurate, he hopes it will make users realise the decisions they make now have a real impact on their future.

“[People think] tomorrow, I’m the guy that goes to the gym, quits smoking, and stops eating fatty foods. But today I’m going to have one last cigarette,” Le Bree says, hoping the app will encourage people to seize the day and make better health choices.

The Apple Watch will be available in Australia on April 24, 2015.

Tell us what you think: Would you ever try an app that tells you how long you’ll live?

March 26, 2015

What You Need To Know About Organ Donation

Did you know that regardless of your registration status, each family of a potential organ or tissue donor must consent to the donation? Plus, not every donor gets to donate. There are exceptionally strict conditions which must be met to harvest organs. It’s marginally less for human tissue.

In 2013, only 1 per cent of  potential candidates who died in hospital actually met the criteria. This left  Australia with a mere 391 suitable organ donors for our entire population. With approximately 1500 Aussies queuing for an organ transplant at any given time, these figures indicate we desperately need more donors to save lives. Registration is reported to be rising at around 75 per cent of the population happy to donate, but we still need to do more.

The Australian Government Organ and Tissue Donation Authority, reported that only 69 per cent of registered donors have told their families of their potential donation. We really need that figure to rise. When potential donors became available in 2013, only 51 per cent of their family members knew what loved ones wants. Of these, the vast majority (94 per cent) of the families agreed to the donation. When the decision was left to family without knowing, the figure dropped substantially to 60 per cent.

Enough with the stats right? It’s enough to make your head spin. What these figures indicate is that it’s imperative for families to talk about organ donation. We often talk about a whole heap of other crap, like what Aunty Joan did at the last family party, but important stuff like this often gets avoided. In reality, if your family doesn’t know what you want, there is a significant chance they will decline the donation and your opportunity to save up to 10 lives will be sadly lost.

Lucky for us, Australia is a world leader in successful transplants. It’s not just about recruiting donors either. National, state and territory government’s have initiated ‘A World’s Best Practice Approach to Organ and Tissue Donation for Transplantation’ reform. The aim is to increase community engagement, awareness and registration rates, plus improve transplant success through stringent selection criteria and vital funding for medical professionals, post-donor care and facilities.

The federal government has allocated additional funds to secure dedicated specialists, like surgeons, nurses, hospital based transplant specialists and support service for both recipients and donor families. Donor families receive support regardless of their decision to donate or not. It will be a particularly difficult time and significant research has gone into providing the best outcome for both the donor family and individual organ recipients.

After a transplant, recipients receive assistance while they undergo 3 or more months of intensive recovery. For this time, recipients need consistent support as a mass of medications are introduced, including poisonous anti-rejection drugs. Recipients may experience potentially life-threatening side effects from medications and therefore potential recipients without 24/7 support for this period are ineligible for a transplant.

This may seem harsh, but the success of the transplant depends on the recovery period. With such a low availability of donors, specialists want to ensure only individuals with the best chance of survival receive these valuable organs. They are aware they may not be able to save everyone’s life so they must base their decision on these types of variables. It’s the ultimate gift of life and no-one wants it wasted.

Lastly, if you do decide to donate, be aware that your organs will be harvested with the utmost care and professionalism and your family will be thoroughly supported. If you’d like to know more about recipients of organ donors, we have an upcoming article, A day in the life of an organ transplant recipient. I’m blessed to have a family member who has recently an organ transplant and fully  comprehend the precious gift which has been received.

It is a decision which changes far more than an individuals life and impacts everyone they associate with, including the wider community. Who knows, one day it might be you on the waiting list and someone’s donation just might save your life. Surely that’s worthy of a 5 minute family conversation?

If you want more information on organ donation, head to http://www.donatelife.gov.au/

Image via lawprofessors.typepad.com

December 9, 2014

Can Salt Therapy Cure What Ails You?

With up to 40 per cent of children suffering from allergies, parents are opening up to the latest complementary therapy to help battle symptoms associated with common ailments, from the winter cold to hayfever, asthma and eczema. The ingredient? A pinch of salt.

Ancient natural salt caves dating back to the 1800s have paved the way for today’s more scientific salt therapy (also known as halo therapy), helping to relieve the symptoms of debilitating respiratory and skin ailments.

So what is it and how does it work? Salt therapy is a non-invasive, chemical-free therapy designed to relieve congestion, inflammation and allergies of the airways and skin. By widening the airways of the respiratory tract, the micro salt particles reach deep into the respiratory system loosening up the mucus, which helps to reduce inflammation.

The best part – children don’t even know they’re being treated. Kids enter a room with an adult (or the whole family) and simply sit back, play and breathe in an ambient setting, designed to mimic a natural salt cave, filled with toys, a fish tank, bean bags and a TV. During the 45-minute session, a Halogenerator grinds up pharmaceutical grade salt to tiny particles that become airborne and dispersed.

Salt therapy is not a cure and works in conjunction with the sufferer’s medical treatment, helping to relieve symptoms of a range of common respiratory conditions be it ongoing or seasonal, from asthma to bronchitis as well as common skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Husband and wife duo David and Katharine Lindsay founded Salts of the Earth in 2010 after seeing overseas firsthand the effects salt therapy had on David’s father, a long term sufferer of chronic respiratory illnesses. The centres now cater to more than 1000 appointments each week.

Salts of the Earth ambassador Lindy Klim knows first-hand the positive impact salt therapy can have. “My son Rocco had a bad nasal problem that was keeping him awake at night, so we wanted to find a non-invasive, natural remedy that would help to relieve his symptoms,” she said.

“We’re so grateful to have found Salts of the Earth, it really has made such a difference to him. Rocco always had trouble sleeping as he had nasal dripage and was coughing all the time. After using salt therapy, the difference in Rocco was noticeable straight away. He had a perfect night’s sleep without being disrupted – there was no coughing and no complaints.”

Lindy reaps the benefits of salt therapy to maintain her own wellbeing, too. “I fly a lot so it’s nice for me to enjoy the room and take 45 minutes just for myself, knowing that by simply sitting back and relaxing, my recovery from travel is being aided as salt therapy helps me to breathe better and sleep better,” she said.

Dr John Tickell said there are scientifically proven benefits in combining medical and natural therapy. “There is science backing salt therapy, proving that breathing in minute salt particles does work to relieve symptoms, when used in conjunction with regular medication prescribed by your GP. By relieving the symptoms of a condition, medication can become more effective, resulting in better management and stronger relief,” he said.

“People who suffer from respiratory ailments have a condition that either inflames the lungs or produces excessive mucus. Salt can only clear a certain amount at a time, which is why we encourage customers to head into Salts of the Earth for a consultation first so the staff can understand their needs and recommend the best management plan for them.”

April 18, 2014

Is Your Kitchen Damaging Your Health?

Forget sharp knives and boiling water: our kitchens are full of dangers that could be affecting our health. Naturopath and author of Digestive Solutions, Michèle Wolff, looks at the nasties hiding in our kitchen and how to avoid them.

Aluminium
The metal-food reaction with aluminium can produce aluminium salts that are absorbed into your body and may be associated with impaired motor coordination and chronic inflammation which can result in a number of health conditions. Aluminium pans get thinner over time, and the only place for it to go is in your food.

Tip: Buy baking paper to wrap your beetroot, fish or potato or put your food in a glass casserole dish.

Teflon-coated vessels
Over time, Teflon can get scratched off into the food. The fumes can also be toxic when cooking in these pans at high temperatures. Never leave Teflon pans on the stove unattended; the toxicity becomes worse with overcooked or overheated foods. Although these non-stick pans are popular there are alternatives that do not harm your health.

Tip: Look for chemical free cookware, such as pans with an ecolon coating which is ecofriendly and chemical free, such as neoflam.

Microwave
Although seen as a speedy and convenient option, microwaves release electromagnetic waves that cause friction and heat to your food. Nutrient damage also occurs and there is a concern with plastics coming into contact with food.

Tip: Do not put breast milk, plastics or metal into a microwave. Exposed to microwaves, breast milk will lose lysozyme (an enzyme with antiseptic action) and antibodies, can foster the growth of pathogenic bacteria, and result in uneven heating which may cause burning in a baby’s mouth. Metal and plastics can create toxic fumes which can cause serious injury.

Barbecue
There is a danger of cooking meats at high temperatures which uses the production of Heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Research has show that these are the carcinogenic chemicals formed when amino acids (from protein) and creatine (a chemical found in muscle) react at high temperatures.

Tip: Avoid medium-well or well-done meat to minimise health risk.

High temperature cooking
Grilling or pan-frying can still cause high amounts of HCAs if the temperature is high.

Tip: Frying is fine, as long as you use the right oils. Cook with ghee, coconut oil or rice bran oil. Coconut oil is slower to oxidise and is not chemically altered when heated at a high temperature. These are the best oils to use when stir-frying as the nutrients in the foods are not compromised by the oxidising oil.

Antioxidants
The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published a study done on the effects of antioxidants in different methods of cooking. In varying amounts, there was a reduction of antioxidants in all methods of cooking:

Microwaving: 74-79% loss

Boiling: 66% loss

Pressure cooking: 47% loss

Tip: Ideally, it is best to cook in stainless steel, ceramic or glass pans and to cook at low temperatures to conserve nutrition.

Michèle Wolff is a leading health practitioner and a qualified naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and nurse, owner of Ultimate Detox Solutions www.detoxspecialist.com.au. Her new book ‘Digestive Solutions – 101 Proven Methods to Solve Your Tummy Problems Naturally’ is available from bookstores and good online booksellers. Visit www.digestivesolutions.com.au.

January 6, 2014

Would You Wear a Bra That Detects Emotional Overeating?

You know how it goes…you’ve had a stressful day and you reach for the Tim-Tams. And before you know it, the packet is finished, and you’re licking crumbs off the couch. And hating yourself in the morning.

Microsoft Research has invented a bra that aims to detect emotional overeating, and curb cravings. The battery-powered bra is equipped with sensor pads that monitors the wearer’s moods and stream information to a smartphone app.

The sensors capture heart rate, respiration, skin conductance and movement. By both recording moods on a smartphone app and collecting data from the bra-sensors, the scientists could predict changes in physiology that accompany eating and stress, including whether the subjects are happy or angry. The bra also sends a tweet when the bra is removed.

While most stress-eaters are women, more than half the U.S. population has admitted to stress-eating, which then leads to a cycle of putting on weight, getting stressed and eating more, causing obesity.

In fact one of the researchers tried to invent the same type of stress-detecting device for men’s underwear, but it wouldn’t work because it was too far away from the heart.

Would you wear a bra that monitors emotional overeating?

December 5, 2013

Why Playing Like a Kid Can Improve Your Health

Playing like a kid and acting young can massively reduce stress levels and improve the ability to solve problems, according to recent research. Play has also been revealed as being just as important for mental and physical health as sleep, eating well and exercising – and hey, it’s a lot of fun!

Dr. Adam Fraser, evian Live Young expert and leading human performance researcher says, “Playing is not only critical for the development of the brain but also its health.

“Making time to refresh yourself through play is one of the best things you can do for your career, relationships and overall sense of wellbeing,” says Dr. Fraser.

And to show how effective playing and acting young is on our health, evian is setting up a giant backyard in Sydney’s Martin Place and Bondi Beach featuring an oversized Hills Hoist clothesline that adults will be able to swing off and enjoy the rewards of playing like a kid again.

Dr. Fraser shares top 10 ways to live young and experience the benefits:

1.       Get some friends together, go to a toy store, buy some toys and have a play date
Think play dough, finger painting, water guns! Explore an environment that felt magical as a child. It’s sure to put a smile on your face.

2.       Turn your favourite song up loud in the kitchen and dance to it
Let go of your inhibitions and just enjoy yourself without worrying what others think.

3.       Have a tickle fight
There’s no better way to ensure uncontrollable laughter that will leave a lasting smile on your face.

4.       Jump up and down until you’re out of breath
It will release endorphins that will make you feel great.

5.       Build a cushion fort in your living room
Let your creative side guide you and revisit a hobby from your childhood that always felt exciting and fun.

6.       Play in the mud and don’t stress about the dirt
This carefree activity stops you from taking yourself seriously and invites you to simply let loose without an afterthought. It can help put things into perspective.

7.       Have a pillow fight
A really fun way to recreate a much loved activity from your youth.

8.       Draw a picture and don’t worry about how good it is
This is a great way to let your creative juices flow and not think about anyone else’s opinion other than your own. Celebrate your individuality through this activity.

9.       Race a colleague up the stairs
A simple way to release endorphins and encourage a good giggle.

10.   Go to the park at lunch time and play on the swings
This effortless, fun activity will ensure you indulge your inner child and escape the stresses of daily life for a while.

The Live Young Backyard will be unveiled at Martin Place on Wednesday, September 25th from 7am until 3pm. It will then move to Bondi Beach opposite Roscoe St Mall on Campbell Parade on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September from 8am to 5pm.

What’s your favourite way to relax and have fun?

September 24, 2013