Health

How To Get Fit Without Paying Gym Fees.

Britons Spend £37 Million pounds a year on wasted gym membership and slimming classes (Daily Mail 2011)

These days it has never been easier to spend money on services that claim to make us look fit and improve our overall health.  We all want to look fantastic and wear our clothes without flab spoiling the overall effect, the concept of joining a gym automatically makes us feel conscientious and fit.  However just because you have spent £500 on an annual gym membership doesn’t mean that you will make the most of it.  In fact paying a fortune is not an incentive to visit the gym, if you are not that way inclined.  So if you are wanting to be able to buy a new wardrobe this winter with your gym membership consider trying these five ways to get fit without going to the gym:-

Trim Trails In The Park

If you thought that playground equipment is just for kids you are very wrong.  Around the perimeter of most local parks there are strategically placed pieces of playground equipment that give you the opportunity to do a proper workout while you jog around the park.  This video from Playdale playgrounds Ltd shows you trim trails in action.

Get A Fitness Game For Your Xbox (Or Any other Games Console

Get fit in front of the TV – no not by watching football. Many games consoles have interactive games which monitor your fitness and provide exercise regimes for you to do in your own living room.  As with everything to do with exercise you will have to use willpower and determination to do the exercises regularly and not sit and play a game instead.

Go Clubbing Every Weekend

We know that clubbing these days is not as hardcore as the 80’s/90’s rave scene but by making a few shapes on the dance floor and getting into the groove will make a great cardiovascular workout and leave you breathless.  You may even pull (see our final tip).

Play A Musical Instrument

If it’s calories you want to burn one hours violin playing burns off as many calories as one hour strolling in the park.  Plus you have the added benefits of making yourself more sexy and play in bands.  Using your brain burns up calories too.

Having Sex

Sadly we couldn’t find an appropriate video for this one – well we did find loads of videos of course but they all made us blush so we thought it best that if you don’t know how to do it – ask your Dad!

So you see exercise doesn’t need to be expensive or boring – if you have any other methods of keeping fit we’d love to know!

Looking After Mind, Body and Soul

If we were to believe our friends’ Facebook posts it would appear that the majority seem to be having a much better time than we are.  We all have a mate who seems to document their cool life in photographs and brilliantly written posts – they have hundreds of friends who seem to hang on to every word making their posts come up to the top many times.  Some friends do have disasters but seem to be able to document them in an amusing way so that they gain encouragement but not pity.  Comparing yourself to attention seeking friends can cause us to feel seriously inadequate and question the quality of our own lives.

These negative feelings can sometimes lead to anxiety and depression because we forget that social media is all about edited highlights, showing the best bits of people’s lives.  Remember the world is bigger than Facebook and time should be spent away from the computer, laptop or smart phone you usually access it with and life should be lived. Always seeking popularity and recognition does not make you a happier person as it just highlights insecurities that cast darkness in our lives.

Step away from the smart phone and look at the world around you, not the screen, grab your Converse sneakers and go for a healthy walk to meet real life friends and family. Fresh air and good company banishes away any negative feelings you may have. Sometimes a communal moaning session allows everyone to support each other and get their woes of their chest.

This article by Mind Body Green gives, ’15 Simple Tips To balance Mind Body And Soul’, which will help you to live life to the full and forget about social media.

How To Survive Freshers Week

Whether you hit the mark and got your university place straight away, or had to go through clearing, you will be starting to gear up to leaving home and experiencing university life.  Your parents will be feeling nostalgic and will be getting upset about you flying the nest and you will be excited with tinges of nerves.  Whether you will be going far away from home or just a couple of hours away your life will be changing forever.  You will gain independence, make new friends, have to cook your own food and do your homework without being nagged by your parents.

When you are driven to your hall of residence the car will be full of kitchen utensils you will never use, washing powder you will never use and probably a brand new piece of tech.  If you are clever you will have calculated how long you are going to leave it before you visit home and bring enough clothes to last then take them all home for mummy to wash – because she’ll love that.  Your parents will worry about you eating properly, making friends and enjoying your course when in fact this worry is misplaced because it is Freshers Week that should worry them the most.

Freshers Week is when you wear your best pair of Levis jeans and brand new trainers so you can dress to impress but are more likely to damage the knees when you lean over the toilet being sick.  Freshers Week is when all the good innocent girls and boys suddenly become rampant alcohol fuelled sex machines that cannot hold their booze.  Freshers Week is when you make loads of new cool friends that you spend the rest of your time at uni trying to un-friend. In fact during that time period your future career is the furthest from your mind.

Here are four important tips to get you through Freshers Week without causing a negative impact on your future career:-

  1. Avoid taking selfies that would get you into trouble such as; being naked, taking drugs, having sex and stealing traffic cones.
  2. Use protection – you don’t really want to make babies at this point or catch STDs (Even sexy chicks have STDs).
  3. Always carry enough cash for the taxi fare home and learn your address off by heart.
  4.  Please regulate your drinking because you really don’t want to get done for being Drunk and Disorderly or spend the night in A&E.

Whatever you do enjoy yourself but don’t put your health at risk – you will still make friends if you don’t become centre of attention.

Back Packs To Help Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is likely to affect 80% of us at some point in our lives and it can be excruciatingly painful as well as debilitating.  There are many causes of back pain including; posture, medical conditions and general health issues.  Often we can reduce the impact of back pain by taking care of our body and changing our lives to accommodate it.  Simple measures such as; losing weight or exercising more can help us to control the pain in our backs.  In the past bed rest was considered to be a good way to deal with back pain but research has shown that keeping moving, despite the pain, is the best course of action.  Back pain can be triggered by; bad posture, turning round too quickly, stretching and carrying heavy bags – just by thinking a little bit about how you move and the pressure you put on your back is enough to make a little bit of difference to the pain you are feeling.

Carrying gadgets and lunch around can often cause pressure on your back and lead to back pain, the best type of bag to carry your stuff in is a back pack because it not only leaves your hands free it also allows the weight of your pack to be distributed down through your body. You must make sure that you wear your back pack correctly and don’t overload it or you will face further back problems. This diagram shows the correct way to carry a backpack on your back.

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When you pack your back pack you must pack it in a certain order to make sure that you are distributing the weight correctly.  This diagram from, ‘Her Packing List‘, provides detailed instructions on how to pack your back pack correctly.  Obviously you will only packing a daily back pack but you can apply the instructions to whatever size back pack you are using.

These days back packs are big business and there are many designs available, Spiral and Hype produce extremely brightly coloured back packs that would look great on any holiday.  We have selected three classic back packs from Stand-Out.Net ranging from the robust Comutor 12 Hour Back Pack, The roomy Eastpak Provider Back Pack and the Classic Spiral Back Pack. These bags have all been chosen for their pedigree and because they are a good example of good value high quality back packs.

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If you are already suffering from back pain and you would like to find out how to look after you back click on this link to the NHS Choices website where you will be given full details of causes, treatments and prevention of back pain

How To Get Your Feet Ready For Flip Flops

The increase in heat and humidity in the summer months can play havoc with the welfare of our feet, causing them to; sweat,  blister and crack.  Looking after your feet in the summer is very important because it prevents you from getting painful blisters, broken skin and infections.  Choosing suitable footwear is also a good way to preserve the health of your feet, when the sun comes out we tend to choose light footwear like flip flops and sandals because they feel light and let our feet breathe. The NHS Choices website advises us to have a selection of different types of shoes to wear so that our feet don’t suffer wear and tear in the same places all of the time.

Here are some tips to make your feet flip flop ready:-

  • Trim your toe nails using either, clippers, scissors or a file.  This prevents painful ingrowing toenails and looks tidy too.
  • Wear bare feet – this is the most natural way to stop your feet from getting sweaty and smelly.
  • Only wear flip flops for a short time as they don’t support your feet and cause your ankles to hurt.
  • Change your socks daily and make sure that they are mainly cotton to prevent a build up of sweat.
  • Eliminate dry skin with an; emery board, foot file or pumice stone and moisturise.
  • Lorraine Jones, a podiatrist from The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists, says the key to preventing summer blisters is to keep your feet dry, wear shoes or sandals that fit well and aren’t too loose, and give your feet ample rest so they don’t get hot and sweaty‘. (NHS Choices)
  • Treat foot infections – Wear flip flops in public places and avoid getting Athlete foot.
  • Wash sweat away, make sure you wash your feet everyday and use and anti bacterial soap to freshen your feet.

If you follow all of these guidelines you will have lovely feet that anyone would like to massage and you will look great at the beach.

A Guy’s Guide To Great Teeth.

Looking after our teeth is vitally important to our appearance and our general health, unsightly decayed teeth prevent us from smiling and can jeopardise many chances that we come across in life.  Imagine the concept of terrible teeth preventing you from; smiling at that girl, being enthusiastic at the interview, for your dream job, or causing your mouth to hurt so that you can no longer enjoy yourself.  Maintaining a healthy mouth is really quite simple and involves brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. You can buy your dental products online or visit your local chemist or supermarket to choose a good quality tooth brush and tooth paste.

Cleaning your teeth well is really a matter of making sure that you brush every surface of your teeth as thoroughly as you can.  This video clip will show you how to clean your teeth well.

Other ways that you can look after your teeth is by restricting eating sugary foods and snacks at meal times – grazing throughout the day causes acid to congregate in your mouth all of the time causing the enamel to dissolve.  Brush your teeth before breakfast to stop you rubbing in the acid after eating, avoid fizzy drinks and sugary food and visit the dentist regularly.

The Secrets Of Sleeping.

When we talk about being healthy we often forget that a good nights sleep is essential when it comes to our health and well being.  Being unable to sleep properly is generally an indication that all is not well in our lives and that we need to slow down and look at ways to improve our sleeping patterns.  The Sleep Council explains that, ‘Sleep is the mysterious shift in consciousness that our bodies require every day’. If we don’t manage to sleep, ‘it can lead to long-term health problems.’ Most of us need between six and nine hours sleep at night and this is best maintained by a regular bedtime routine.  What we do before we sleep is just as important as the bed we sleep in and the clothes we wear to bed.

It is very easy to slip into the habit of watching the television, sitting in front of a computer screen or surfing the net on smart phones before going to bed.  If you have difficulty sleeping, you should refrain from using these gadgets before bedtime because the light coming off them is confusing your brain.  It is very easy to get into a vicious cycle if you have a job that demands that you work in the evenings in front of a screen to switch off sufficiently to enable you to sleep well. A bad night’s sleep will cause the next day to be more stressful which in turn will make sleeping difficult and you will descend into a negative spiral of sleep deprivation and stress.

The NHS Choices website suggests that you make your bedroom an extremely pleasant environment that is only used for sleep and sex.  Apparently sex makes you sleepy, so there is no better excuse for engaging in carnal pleasures – just make sure that it is not after you have spent a night on the booze and it is three o’clock in the morning.  Studies have shown that children’s sleep is disturbed when there is a smart phone in their room so make sure that all smart phones are off and switch off the WiFi – it may help you to sleep well too.

Invest in a new mattress or bed – you will be amazed at the difference a new one makes, add sift furnishings, calm wall paper, relaxing pictures and dim the lights and start your bedtime routine.  Have a nice warm bath, put on a nice comfortable pair of pyjamas – these bottoms from Calvin Klein  and t-shirt from Calvin Klein are soft and comfortable and will help your body to remain at a nice comfortable ambient temperature.

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If you have a crazy cat either let them go out at night or lock them in another room out of the way because they have the tendency to pester and purr loudly when you are trying to get to sleep.

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This Extract from NHS Choices really sums up the best way to approach a sleeping problem –

Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. There are many ways of relaxing:

  • A warm bath (not hot) will help your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest.
  • Writing “to do” lists for the next day can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions.
  • Relaxation exercises, such as light yoga stretches, help to relax the muscles. Don’t exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect.
  • Relaxation CDs work by using a carefully narrated script, gentle hypnotic music and sound effects to relax the listener.
  • Reading a book or listening to the radio relaxes the mind by distracting it.

“Everyone will have their own way of relaxing,” says Alexander. “If you don’t know how to relax, you can get help and advice from your GP.”

The main message where sleeping is concerned is to make sure that you live your life in a healthy and careful way so that your body clock can readjust and sleep will come to you naturally.