Category: Health

5 Must-Have Hair Treatments You Should Try Now

Early signs of hair loss can be experienced even at a young age of 20 to 30. If not treated immediately, it can affect your wellness physically and emotionally. 

Today, having a great look at social media accounts will give you an edge towards other people. The ultimate solution to this is by having beautiful and healthy hair. Having healthy hair can attract many people. However, if you experience early signs of hair loss, it’s time for you to call the hair and scalp specialist.

What is the Major Cause of Hair Loss?

According to hair experts, genetics is one of the major causes of the early stage of hair loss. So, if you think that baldness runs in your family’s blood, it’s time to consider various treatments for hair loss.

The early you treat the stage of hair loss, the better will be the result. 

5 Hair Loss Treatment You Need to Try

Below are the top five hair conditions that need immediate hair treatment to solve the early signs of hair loss.

  1. For Early Signs of Baldness, Use Hair Stabilizer

Did you know that most of us can experience early signs of baldness at the age of 30? This hair problem is the abnormal production of hormones on our body, which is called DHT. 

The proper treatment for the early stage of thinning hair is a hair stabilizer treatment. It only stabilizes your hair quality and strengthens your hair condition.

  1. For Dandruff Problem, Use Scalp Anti-Dandruff Hair Treatment 

Experts believe that dandruff doesn’t cause hair loss, but instead worsens the hair problem’s condition. 

Dandruff doesn’t have a connection for thinning of hair, but the constant scratching of your scalp may affect your hair growth. When you scratch your scalp, it scrapes your hair roots that cause hair to fall out.

The best solution to this problem is to use anti-dandruff hair treatment. It deeply penetrates your scalp and removes dirt and oil that damages hair roots and causes hair loss.

  1. For Hair That Needs Restoration, Use Hair Follicle Revitalization

Our hair roots need hair stimulation to continue hair regrowth. To do this, you need a laser treatment procedure. Hair experts believe that this method can revive dying hair follicles. As such, it will help you improve your hair quality.

  1. For Thinning of Hair, Use Hair Root Strengthening Treatment

Transform your weak and lifeless hair into a strong and shiny one using hair root strengthening treatment.

The thin hair needs vitamins and minerals, which you can get from hair loss prevention treatment. It ensures the best results and reduces falling hair without any harmful effects.

  1. For Major Hair Loss Problem, Consider Using a Hair Transplantation

If the method mentioned above didn’t meet your hair loss problem, it’s time for you to select the most effective hair loss solution, and that is a hair transplant. 

If you want to know more about the latest trends for hair loss solution, check this treatment for hair loss.

How to Take Care of Hair After a Hair Transplant

A lot of men and women prefer a hair transplant procedure to recover lost hair. Hair loss can be attributed to various reasons like age, hormonal factors, stress, or genetic issues. Hair transplant has become one of the most popular procedures because of its efficiency and simplicity.

In this article, we will discuss the proper aftercare procedure after getting a hair transplant.

Some Precautions After Hair Transplant

After the hair transplant, there is no need to stay in the hospital. You can rest for a few hours, then proceed home and follow some precautions. Here are some of them:

·       Work

Under normal circumstances, you can return to work the next day. Although it will still depend on the nature of your work, whether it is required to wear a helmet or to make a physical effort. If this is the case, you need to wait until two weeks or even a month to report back to work. 

·       Sport

Keep in mind that you can’t play sports during the first month. If you are into contact sports like martial arts, the rest period is until 90 days. 

·       Anti-inflammatories

During the first week of recovery, it is recommended to use anti-inflammatories to lessen the swelling. This swelling is due to the product of whey and anesthesia. This is normal and will recover with the help of anti-inflammatory medicines. 

·       Activities involving perspiration

It would be best if you avoided any activities involving sweating during the first week as much as possible. 

·       Hats and caps

Your head must remain uncovered for the first three days. You may wear hats after one week and helmets after one month. 

·       Haircut

Cutting your hair is advisable after three months of surgery. Using the razor is allowable after six months. 

·       Sleeping

Experts advise using an inflatable collar when sleeping to keep your position on the back.

Washing your Hair After the Transplant

After the hair transplant procedure, you need to remove your head using lukewarm water starting from the fourth day. Wash your hair with subtle touches, without scraping and gently drying it using paper towels. You can wipe with a towel after the first month.

It is also possible to notice itching and irritation during the first days. You may use a physiological saline solution to relieve them. Moreover, you can apply an ointment or aloe vera gel in the donor area.

Post-Operative Capillary Graft

The postoperative period of a hair transplant period is short and hardly leaves no scars.

1.       First 15 days

This period is the most intense. The area is redder, and you may notice itching and inflammation. Small crusts appear and start to fall naturally during the first week. 

2.       Between the third week and the two months

This is the period in which the follicles are detached from the transplanted hair. You don’t have to worry because your hair will grow back without falling. 

3.       From three months

The new hair starts to appear and grow. 

4.       One year after

You will notice visible results from this period onward.

You may consult with Seager Hair Restoration Centre to know more about hair transplant procedures. 

How to Be More Productive When Working Out

Exercise is one of the key factors in maintaining good health. Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy body weight, reduces stress, strengthens the heart, improves the mood, strengthens the muscles and bones, and also reduces your risk of multiple physical and mental health problems. In order to reap these benefits, however, it is imperative that you put your best foot forward each time you work out. As the more productive you are during your workouts the more your body benefits from it. 

How can you be sure that you’re maximizing your workouts every time? Below are a few suggestions: 

No More Smoking

Smoking and trying to work out are pretty counterintuitive. When you smoke you harm every part of your body. Not to mention, you also put yourself at greater risk for heart attack or stroke while at the gym as exercise also increases your heart rate and blood pressure. So, if you’re really going to get serious about your fitness you need to put down the cigarettes. If you can’t go cold turkey there are lots of people who have tried vaping to stop smoking

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water before, during, and after a workout routine is necessary for optimal performance. As your body is already releasing a lot of moisture through sweat, the low water content present can cause a lot of problems. In fact, it can compromise your heart, bone, and muscle function leading to a great risk of injury or other issues. Not only should you start your day drinking water, but be sure to have a large water bottle with you while working out. If you’re not really a fan of water, try adding some frozen fruit to the mix to keep it cold and to add some flavor. 

Get Your Head in the Game

Exercise really does require a positive mental state. If you’re stressed, unmotivated, or otherwise preoccupied you’re not going to perform at your best while working out. If you really want to reach those fitness goals you have got to get your head in the game. Set small goals that you can achieve so you have something to keep you motivated. Turn off your cell phone to eliminate distractions like phone calls, emails, or social media. Also, say a few positive words of affirmation before, during, and after your routine to boost that self-esteem. 

Work With a Personal Trainer

For those who are new to working out in the gym, a personal trainer might be just what you need to be more productive. They’ll assess your needs, help you define goals, and create an exercise plan to help you accomplish them. A personal trainer will push you to your limits and outside of your comfort zone by gradually increasing reps, reducing rest time, and increasing weight sizes. They provide motivation and inspiration and work hard to help you perform at your best. 

Stretch Before Each Workout

Stretching is important to perform your best. When you don’t properly prepare your body for a routine you increase your risk of injury. Stretching beforehand, however, raises your body temperature, gets your heart rate pumping, and warms your muscles so that you’re ready for a great workout. Stretching also enhances your range of motion which allows you to get deeper into the exercises and get the full effects. 

Pump Up the Jams

Want an easy way to tune out all the distractions and improve your performance in the gym? Download your favorite playlist and keep it on hand. Listening to some upbeat, positive music can inspire you to push through and stick to your goals. Just be sure to get some decent earbuds and a smartphone pouch for your waist or arm so you’re not stuck holding it during your workout. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, tone and tighten your muscles, or just be the best version of yourself, maximizing your time in the gym by performing at your best is the way to get there. Use the tips described above to increase your productivity during workouts. Within a few weeks, you’ll see results you never imagined possible. 

Medical Reasons for Getting Plastic Surgery

While there are some strong opinions about whether plastic surgery is medically necessary or purely for vanity, supporters of the practice insist that there are situations where going under the knife significantly improves an individual’s health and quality of life. Issues such as injuries, birth defects, and reconstructive surgery all require plastic surgery in order to bring about an optimal state of health. A secondary benefit of this surgery most likely involves improving one’s appearance, but the primary goal is to restore the health and quality of life of the patient.

There are several reasons why plastic surgery is deemed medically necessary. Cosmetic surgeons like Dr. Binder of Beverly Hills, while performing many procedures meant to improve appearance, also specialize in these medically justified surgeries  These situations include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

1. Craniofacial surgery

This type of plastic surgery involves reconstruction of one or more areas of the face, head, and neck. The most common corrections done are on cleft lips and palettes. A cleft palate can negatively impact a child’s ability to eat and swallow, and can also cause ear infections, hearing loss, and dental problems. Children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate also experience speech difficulties and have challenges with social and emotional issues at school. Corrective surgery is required to give these children a better quality of life.

2. Reconstructive surgery

Plastic surgery is often performed on those who have incurred an injury or illness which has deformed them in some way. Someone who has been disfigured or maimed in a car accident, one who has been bitten by a dog and has incurred scarring, and one who has sustained scarring of the skin due to a severe burn would all benefit from restorative and reconstructive surgery. Some of this may be considered cosmetic, but in reality, restoring the function of that area of the body to full capacity does wonders for self-esteem and confidence as well; two traits that are needed in order to successfully navigate through life.

3. Correction of a deviated septum

When a person is born with a deviated septum, it can cause difficulty with breathing, sinus infections, and heavy snoring that interferes with sleep. Correcting the functional issue of the nose is the primary concern; an added benefit is that any cosmetic correction achieved also aids in boosting self-esteem and mental/emotional health.

4. Breast reduction

Believe it or not, breast reduction is not only a cosmetic change; a person whose breasts are disproportionate to the rest of the body will experience difficulty with back pain, leg pain, and other physical challenges. Reducing the size and weight of breast tissue takes some much-needed pressure off the spine, the legs, and the back, leading to a more comfortable life and ease of mobility.

5. Breast reconstruction

Any woman who has had a mastectomy will tell you that the emotional toll that it takes is great, and the psychological impact that it has on her is significant. Having the option of breast reconstruction gives her a sense of well-being and a feeling of normalcy once more, despite the traumatic events that she has gone through. Sometimes all a patient wants to do is to achieve the feeling of being “normal” and this type of reconstructive surgery aids in doing just that.

6. Eyelid lifts

Eyelid lifts are not only cosmetic, but they also fix issues with eyesight that affect everyday life. Significant eyelid drooping can cause the skin of the eye to hang over the eyelashes and partially obstruct sight. This affects the ability to drive, to read, to use a computer, and to wear contact lenses. This type of surgery is medically necessary in order to restore sight and proper function of the eye; any cosmetic improvement that is experienced is secondary to the goal of corrected eyesight.

Anyone who has undergone reconstructive or corrective surgery is bound to share that their reasons for doing so were not to look better but to feel and heal better. With that in proper perspective, it seems that we need to take a more respectful look at the contributions plastic surgery makes to health and wellness of patients.

Why the world is going vegan

It used to be that going vegan was met with ridicule or shock. Why? How? What about bacon?!

But now, the choice to go vegan is becoming steadily more respected. Yes, there’s still the sense of disbelief or lack of understanding, but increasingly, people are learning to love vegan food! From health benefits to environmental issues, to sheer celebrity trends, veganism has seen something of a rebranding. So much so that businesses need to start tailoring their services and goods towards veganism if they want to meet consumer demand.

And the demand is certainly there. Between 2016 and 2017, the sales of plant-based food in the UK soared by 1,500%!

The Vegan Society released some interesting figures surrounding veganism in the UK that support this rising trend:

  • 56% of adults in the UK practice vegan buying behaviours
  • 19% have cut down on buying meat and are checking cosmetics and toiletries for animal-testing
  • 13% actively choose meat-free or dairy-free meals when eating out
  • 51% are happy to see vegan food in shops and restaurants

People may not always be adopting a totally vegan diet, but are changing their eating habits to include more non-animal product foods (being a ‘flexitarian’, as it is known). Perhaps because of this, the mindset towards vegans has drastically improved, with 43% of people saying they respected vegans for their lifestyle.

But is there more to the trend than health and eco-awareness concerns? Looking at the results of 2018’s Veganuary, a movement that challenges people to sign up for a month of vegan eating, the top reason for people signing up was animal rights concerns (43%). This was followed by 39% of people who signed up for health reasons, and 10% who said it was for environmental reasons.

The Independent has suggested a slightly vainer reason. The newspaper noted that Google searches of the word ‘vegan’ has grown in line with searches for ‘Instagram’. In a world where we love to take photos of our meals and share them on social media, it’s not difficult to believe that Instagram has helped circulate numerous brightly-coloured vegan dishes to help improve its previously ill-held reputation of being nothing but leaves.

As Vegan Food & Living proves with 2018’s vegan food trends, there’s been a massive leap in the appeal of vegan dishes:

  • Veggie chips, such as parsnip chips and sweet potato chips, make for a healthier option than normal potato.
  • Edible flowers, to make your meal Instagram-worthy!
  • Vegan desserts, bringing back ice-cream and cakes in vegan-friendly ways. Ben and Jerry’s have released three delicious vegan-friendly ice creams: Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, and Peanut Butter and Cookies are all sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike! 
  • Vegan Chocolate, to enjoy instead of chocolate containing animal products.
  • Fermented foods, while they might not conjure the most delicious image to mind, are coming into food trends in a big way. Think colourful kimchi and nutty-flavoured tempeh.

Now, businesses need to take note of the surge and offer more in the ways of vegan options. A recent survey found that 91% of vegans are having a tough time finding to-go meal options. The market is certainly there, and restaurants and supermarkets are slowly picking up on the potential gains to be made by catering to veganism.

A vegan diet can be beneficial on a personal level too. A new study was brought to the public eye by The Guardian, outlining that the “five-a-day” notion for fruit and vegetable consumption is, sadly, not entirely accurate. In fact, the study from the Imperial College London advises 10-a-day! The now-recommended 800g of fruit and veg daily would help reduce heart disease, strokes and premature deaths. Picking up a few vegan meals throughout the week, or switching to a vegan diet entirely, would certainly help hit this healthy target.

Whether you’re thinking of going vegan or just swaying a little more ‘flexitarian’, you can help boost your healthy choice with self-grown veggies! Even a small garden can house a few home-grown herbs and fruits. You can grab some growbags and start cultivating your own supply of tomatoes for a home-made tomato sauce, or cucumbers for the freshest salad you’ll ever taste. While you’re out there, maybe take the chance to tidy up the garden a bit, give it some TLC, maybe dress it up with some garden bark chippings and new plants beyond just veggies. Plus, a vegan diet has loads of proteins you can grow too. Think beans and seeds, like sunflower seeds or soybeans.

Why not start adding a few vegan options into your diet and seeing what all the fuss is about? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far vegan cooking has come, and if nothing else, you’ll reap the many environmental and health benefits.

Experience the Mental and Physical Health Benefits of a Massage

To most people, the idea of laying in a soothing environment on a massage table with the scent of lavender in the air at a massage parlor is a luxury designed for relaxation. Though those who receive a massage often feel relaxed afterward, there are more health benefits. Used for centuries in both eastern and western civilizations, massage therapy techniques have been proven to heal the mind and body.

The next time you have an opportunity to schedule an appointment to lay on portable and stationary tables for massages, perhaps it’s worth it considering these mental and physical advantages below:

Chronic Pain Management

Individuals who suffer from chronic pain as a result of injury or long-term illness have benefited immensely from massage therapy. Various massage techniques help to increase serotonin which naturally helps to reduce pain. Therapists can perform various practices which can help to relieve tension and relax muscles and joints.

Diabetes Management

Millions of people across the country are living with diabetes, a long-term, chronic condition. Those who suffer from this condition have to cope with everything from nerve pain to poor circulation and chronic pain. Getting a massage, has been proven to be instrumental for a number of reasons.

Soothes Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety do more than just impact your mind. Since your body is constantly in fight or flight mode it’s often tense and always on edge. Depression and anxiety can often lead to physical symptoms like body aches or headaches. Massages are, therefore, useful in helping to relieve the pain. They’re also ideal in that they help to reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and boost serotonin levels which aid the body in fighting mental illness.

Better Posture

Many people work in an occupation that requires them to either sit in a chair or stand on their feet for hours. This isn’t good on your back, neck, or shoulders. The result ends up being poor posture. You can remedy this by getting a massage. The massage therapist will use techniques to help loosen the muscles and tension so that you can sit or stand straight without the pain.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Massages have been known to help lower blood pressure. The various techniques help to release tension, relieve pain, and reduce stress. As these factors can all raise someone’s blood pressure, it would be safe to assume that lowering these causes would, therefore, reduce your pressure.

Improves Flexibility

Flexibility is often lost over time as a result of reduced lubrication on the joints and ligaments. Massages, however, help to stimulate the body’s natural production. As the therapist rubs on various parts of the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons it helps to lubricate and improve your range of motion.

Enhanced Athletic Performance

Athletes who want to perform at their best can benefit from a few massage sessions. Massages are frequently provided as a way to warm up the muscles and increase circulation. As pointed out above, massages also help to improve flexibility and range of motion which are key to performing at your best. They’re also provided to athletes who are injured as a means of aiding their recovery process.

Get Better Sleep

If you’ve been having difficulties getting to sleep whether it’s a result of stress, depression, or anxiety, a massage can make a big difference. As it relieves tension, soothes pain, reduces cortisol levels, boosts mood, and increases serotonin levels each of these factors helps you to get better sleep.

Prior to reading this post, you may have thought of a massage as nothing more than an expensive luxury to relax. Hopefully, however, you now see that there is much more to this ancient practice. When received on a regular basis, massage can help to heal both the mind and body therefore, enhancing the quality of your life.

How movement can help with your pain

Most of us will take medication when we’re suffering from some type of pain. But, are you aware of how movement and exercise can be helpful too? Read on as we take a look at the importance of mobility when it comes to pain relief and what you can do to get moving.

Does moving around really help?

Although moving around can help general pain, it can also improve musculoskeletal pain. Improving function in this way has been found to reduce disability, lower feelings of depression and improve someone’s physical condition and quality of life. When it comes to a person’s wellbeing, exercise can help regulate sleep patterns and reduce stress levels. It’s clear to see that movement is not only about losing weight or keeping fit — it’s also crucial for a range of other things.

Your next steps

When suffering from pain, you must make it your duty to maintain the severity levels and not make it worse. The following types of exercise are low impact and can work towards building up your strength and managing your pain.

Considered yoga?

Although many people practice yoga to meditate and escape reality, it’s also though to help back pain sufferers. One study, for example, discovered significant differences between the brains of those who experienced chronic pain and the brains of those who regularly practised yoga. Researchers found that the sufferers of chronic pain had less of the kind of brain tissue in the regions that help us tolerate pain. On the other hand, those who did yoga had more of this brain tissue.

Although yoga may not be beneficial for those who require arthritis pain relief, it can benefit individuals who have occasional soreness or long-lasting aches. If you do suffer from severe types of pain, this may not be the best solution. However, for those with soreness, it can work a treat. This is through practising certain postures that lengthen the spine, improve alignment, and stretch and strengthen the muscles.

If you have built-up tension in your body, carrying out stretching exercises can be beneficial. If you want to use yoga for this sort of relief, gentle yoga is what you should focus on, as more strenuous styles could cause damage. Always ask what sort of class it is before you sign up.

Some poses are more helpful than others. The ‘extended child’s pose’, for example, lengthens the sides of the body whilst providing traction on the spine. And, the ‘cobra’ is all about stretching and strengthening the spine.

Other health benefits can come from yoga too. These include lowered heart rate and blood pressure and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Considered Pilates?

Pilates is quite similar to yoga. However, yoga is more about poses that emphasise relaxation and meditation, and Pilates is usually performed as a flow of movement rather than static exercises.

This type of exercise is carried out on a mat. Specialised apparatus can help resistance if you want to build muscle. Alternatively, the apparatus can be used to support someone with back pain to allow them to do certain movements. The performed exercises focus on improving your flexibility, strength and body awareness by working with your abdominal core muscles.

Pilates has been found to relieve individuals of back pain and practitioners of the form say that the exercise improves posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility. In addition to this, it works with your body to relieve stress and tension.

Pilates can be carried out in your office too. You can find examples of these online, they’re all about controlled breathing and strengthening different muscle groups.

Considered hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy involves the use of water to help with exercises and strength building. Exercises range from easy routines that are carried out in shallow water, to the use of high-tech equipment such as underwater treadmills. The presence of the water counteracts gravity and helps support the person’s weight, making them feel lighter and able to move more freely. When it comes to those who suffer from back pain, the water is able to minimise the axial load (weight on the spine) and allow them to do exercises that they may not be able to do on land. The viscosity in water also creates a resistance which allows people to do muscle strengthening exercises without a risk of further injury through loss of balance — something that they may not have been able to do on land, either.

You may have also considered water therapy, as this is another element that can help you. In particular, individuals with the following conditions are referred for hydrotherapy: osteoarthritis, advanced osteoporosis and those with muscle strain or tears. Each person’s water therapy programme is different, some pain sufferers do solely water therapy exercises and others use a combination of land-based and water-based exercises to manage their pain or rehabilitate.

Speak to your GP about which exercises will be best for your pain management needs and keep active to improve your overall wellbeing.

How to keep your immune system fighting fit in the winter

Our moods often drop during the winter months, don’t they? This is perhaps because the number of daylight hours can be considerably shorter, the nights will be a lot colder and, well, put quite simply, the weather is a whole lot duller. However, it’s not just our mood that we need to give an almighty boost during these depressing months. Winter can also have a huge impact on our immune system, too. Therefore, we can be susceptible to getting ill. But, what exactly can we do to make sure it is fully boosted and to keep it high?

Here, with vegetable seeds suppliers, Suttons, we take a look at what exactly your immune system is as well as looking at what the best ways are to make sure you minimise illness and keep fighting fit.

What is your immune system?

Put simply, your immune system is precisely what it says it is – a system. It’s not one single entity that you can pinpoint. It’s a network of cells, organs and tissues that work in unison to protect you. This ‘barrier’ helps destroy germs and parasites by trying to get rid of any unfamiliar bodies. If your immune system is healthy, then your body can fight off any harmful bacteria.

Immunisations

Over the winter months, you may find it beneficial to have several immunisations. These can give you a better chance of staying fit and healthy as the cold front hits. For those who are most at risk during the winter months, such as the elderly, you will be entitled to free flu jabs. Some workforces also offer this service to their staff to try to restrict sick days. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, you can still pay for the immunisation at selected pharmacies.

In the UK, the NHS recommends that you receive a flu job in either in October or November. However, it’s still possible to have the injection at any point of the winter if you feel it will be beneficial.  

Diet

Your diet is crucial. You must make sure you eat enough fruit and vegetables. Your immune system is like any fighting force and needs good nourishment to perform well. You should stock your daily diets full of foods enriched in vitamins to give yourself the necessary requirements throughout the year, not just in winter.

Recent research has discovered that certain micronutrient deficiencies, including the likes of zinc, folic acid and iron deficiencies, can alter our immune systems. Therefore, you must make sure you’re doing your upmost to eat foods rich in these nutrients. Items you should be adding to your shopping basket over the coming months include citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, poultry and sunflower seeds. Each are packed full of nutrients to help keep your immune system in good condition.

Vitamin supplements

If you don’t think that you can get a big enough intake of vitamins into your diet through your food, health supplements can be a great boost for your body. There are many vitamins in tablet and liquid form that can help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

You may find it extremely hard in winter to obtain the satisfactory vitamin D level through your diet alone. Temperatures and a lack of sunshine mean that we don’t receive our natural dosage of the vitamin via the sun’s rays and need to receive our intake elsewhere. 

One of the biggest immune system boosters that we have at our disposal is vitamin C. If you don’t receive enough of this vitamin form in your diet — kale and oranges are two nutrient-rich foods — be sure to take a supplement to help keep your levels high. After all, if you lack in this vitamin, you’ll be more prone to getting sick.

While vitamins can be a big help, it’s vital to understand that supplements should not be thought of as a long-term alternative to actual food. It’s much more beneficial for your body if you get these nutrients through a food source as it’s easier to absorb.

Exercise

When you look out the window and see the dull, dark and cold skies, it’s likely that exercise isn’t high on your to-do list. You may feel more inclined to curl up in front of the fire, but this isn’t necessarily the best option. Exercising can help reduce your chances of getting a cold, flu or other illness as it can help flush bacteria from your lungs and airways.

The change in body temperature when you take part in any form of exercise can also play a significant part in preventing an illness. This is because the rise during and straight after exercise can prevent bacteria from growing and ultimately fight any infection in a similar way it would if you had a fever.  

Quit the habits

There’s never a best time to quit smoking or heavy drinking habits, however, you should look to quit if you’re wanting to stay as healthy as possible over winter. Did you know that the toxins from cigarettes are high enough so that your immune system takes a hit and is less effective? And with this brings the ever more likelihood of you becoming ill! A great way to help beat the cravings can be stop smoking gum and lozenges as well as nicotine patches.

Relax

Okay, so it may not be as easy as saying it, but it’s key to relax if you want to stay in peak health. This can include monitoring your stress levels. This is an area in which scientists are actively working to discover the exact link as it can be difficult to pin down exactly what a stressful situation means to a certain individual. However, stress has been found to have a strain on your immune system as well as your personal or work life.

As well is cutting any stressful situations wherever possible, be sure you’re not sleep deprived. If you are, you will find yourself being run down, leaving your body susceptible to catching the common cold. During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines proteins. Some of these proteins can aid your sleep, while others can fight off infections and inflammation, meaning it’s crucial to get a good sleep if you are to properly protect your body. It’s recommended that you aim for between seven and nine hours sleep each night.

Following the above tips will give you a good chance of keeping yourself right this winter. It can be a long slog before we reach the bright summer nights once again, but by keeping your immune system working, you won’t feel worse due to illness.

A day in the life of germs

Whether you’re a germaphobe, or you believe they’re boosting your immune system, you’re probably going to want to have a read of the super interesting infographic titled A Day in the Life of Germs.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more conscious of how many germs are hanging out around me at any one time. The #LifeOfGerms campaign has made me realize I was looking in all the wrong places. It turns out that the typical places where we’re assuming to see the most germs are actually nowhere near as bad as some of the everyday items we forget about.

As part of this campaign, 10 everyday items were lab tested to see their Total Viable Count (TVC) of germs.

Your phone is where you usually come into contact with bacteria first each day. You can expect to find approximately 30 TVC hanging out on your phone, however, this may be higher if you don’t tend to wipe your phone down very often.

Your car steering wheel is actually surprisingly germ-free, with just 10 TVC. However, your keyboard has more germs on it than a toilet flush, at approximately 370 TVC. Ew.

Even your morning mug of coffee will have around 60 TVC, which means people who are washing those mugs may need to step up their games.

Interestingly, the toilet, which you’d probably consider to be the germiest, only had around 90 TVC. If you think that’s bad, wait until we get to your toothbrush later.

If you touch an ATM while getting cash out, it’s a good idea to wash your hands. You’ll be coming into contact with approximately 90 TVC- the same as a toilet flush.

Interestingly, you’re likely to come into contact with some of the highest levels of germs if you’re a commuter. Inf act, a train seat has a TVC of approximately 72,000. I’d rather stand.

Heading to the gym? Make sure you wash your hands after. A set of dumbbells will have a TVC of around 48, however, you’re likely to come into contact with more than one set, especially if you’re using the exercise machines too.

Now we get to the surprising part. Did you know that your toothbrush has approximately 48,000 germs on it? This could be when you’re exposed to the most germs every day. If your bathroom and toilet are in the same room, be sure to close the lid of your toilet when you flush to help stop the spread of contamination.

Spotting the signs of different conditions

There are many different health conditions that can prove to be very harmful to our health. Fortunately, many have tell-tale symptoms that can be detected at early stages, where it’s possible to either stop the process before it damages our health too much or at the least slow it down. Together, with stairlift manufacturer, Acorn Stairlifts, we advise on how to spot the signs of a number of different conditions:

Breast Cancer

The UK’s most common form of cancer is Breast cancer, with well over 50,000 cases of it being recorded by Cancer Research UK during 2015 alone. While it is most common in women, it’s not uncommon for men to be diagnosed with breast cancer, too.

If detected at an early stage, breast cancer can be treated before it spreads to nearby parts of the body. While it is most common in women, it’s not uncommon for men to be diagnosed with breast cancer, too.

The first symptom to look out for breast cancer is often a lump or area of thickened breast tissue developed around one of the breasts. It’s important to underline that many lumps around the breast will not be cancerous, but it’s wise to get any checked by a doctor if detected.

Other signs to keep an eye out for is if one or both of your breasts change their size or shape, also if there’s pain around the breasts or if there’s dimpling on the skin of the breasts. Observe the nipples of the breasts too. Discharge from either nipple (which might be streaked with blood), a rash on or around the nipple or the appearance of the nipple changing — perhaps becoming sunken into the breast — can all be symptoms of breast cancer. Another potential sign of this disease is a lump or swelling in either of the armpits.

If you are concerned about your body and feel that it has shown symptoms, then speak to your GP or check out Cancer Research UK’s guide on seeing the doctor to spot cancer early.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the UK after breast cancer and the most common cancer in men across the country. Cancer Research UK recorded close to 50,000 new cases of prostate cancer throughout 2015 alone.

Treatment is however not instantly necessary for many men with prostate cancer. A doctor may suggest either ‘active surveillance’ or ‘watchful waiting’ if the cancer is at an early stage and not causing symptoms to appear, though some cases of the disease can be treated if spotted in the early stages — such as via radiotherapy (either standalone or alongside hormone therapy) or by surgically removing the prostate.

When it comes to prostate cancer, another thing to take note is that most men won’t have any signs or symptoms during the early stages of the disease. This is due to the way the cancer grows

Early signs tent to only be seen if the cancer grows near the urethra, and as it grows, it may press against it and change the way that you urinate. Possible changes to be aware of include if it becomes difficult to start urinating or empty the bladder, if there’s a weak flow when urinating or if it feels that the bladder has not properly emptied after urinating. Also look out for dribbling urine after urinating has finished, as well as if someone has the sudden urge to urinate or if they appear to urinate more often — especially during the night. However, changes in the way someone urinates is more likely to be associated with the non-cancerous problem of an enlarged prostate, or another health issue completely. No matter what though, it’s wise to see a doctor if any of the above changes are detected.

Usually, prostate cancer will begin to develop in a different part of the prostate. However, should the cancer break out of the gland or spread to other parts of the body, signs which could indicate this has happened include pain in the hips, pelvis or back, blood being evident in either semen or urine, weight loss that can’t be explained, and issues with either getting or keeping an erection.

If you think your body is showing signs of prostate cancer, or you’re having other issues with your prostate gland then speak to your GP or read Prostate Cancer UK’s advice on prostate tests to find out how these procedures should be able to help.

Arthritis

Arthritis occur when tissue inside your joints breakdown, with the result of being inflammation, pain and restricted movement of the area of the body concerned, as well as the affected joint becoming weaker. An estimated ten million people suffer from arthritis in the UK, according to the NHS, with individuals of all ages affected.

There is unfortunately no cure for arthritis, however there are various treatments which are available that can help slow down the condition.

One of the first signs to look out for, within you or something you think maybe suffering from arthritis including if they’re feeling unusually fatigue. This is sometimes accompanied by a general feeling of ill health, as well as stiffness in the morning that can last for a few minutes or even several hours. Be aware of stiffness and/or in one or more of the body’s smaller joints too, and mild inflammation of the joints concerned. This inflammation may also cause surrounding tendons and ligaments to become unstable or deformed, meaning that the range of motion is decreased, while pain and inflammation of the joints may be accompanied by a low-grade fever.

For more information and support with regard to arthritis, take a look at the NHS’s advice about living with arthritis and Arthritis Care’s managing arthritis guide.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the weakening of bones, and condition that develops gradually over time, with more than 3 million people throughout the UK affected and over 500,000 individuals needing hospital treatment each year for fragility fractures.

There are 3 main signs to look out for when it comes to osteoporosis:

  1. Multiple osteoporotic fractures in the spine can cause the back to lose its normal curvature — the result being a stooped back developing and a loss of height being witnessed as the vertebral bones in the spin begin to weaken and collapse.
  2. Sudden or intense back pain being suffered without warning or from doing something small, such as bending over to tie a shoelace.
  3. Fractures being suffered after having what at first seemed like a minor incident, such as slipping on the pavement or even making a sudden movement.

To find out more about Osteoporosis, read the NHS’s guide on treatment options for osteoporosis.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that Is the outcome if the pancreas stops producing enough insulin. The number of people currently diagnosed with diabetes in the UK is estimated by Diabetes.co.uk to be 3.5 million, with older members of society susceptible to developing the condition as their bodies change when they age.

It’s important to be diagnosed early, in order to be giving an effective treatment that can control the condition and maintain good health, because this will reduce the risk of the body developing serious complications.

The common symptoms to look out for, that are associated with diabetes someone being really thirsty, weight loss and needing to go to the toilet quite frequently, and also feeling more tired than they usually would. Also, take note if any cuts and wounds take much longer to heal, if blurred vision is experienced and if genital itching or thrush is encountered.

If you think someone you know is developing diabetes, or you yourself are showing signs, than Diabetes UK advises that a local GP should be contacted and also has a guide on the diabetes treatments available.

Dementia

Dementia occurs when a variety of different brain disorders that trigger the loss of bring function, the condition is often progressive but eventually severe. Around 850,000 people are suffering from dementia in the UK currently, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, but the organisation goes on to state that 225,000 individuals will develop dementia this year alone — that works out at one new case every three minutes.

It’s important to point out that, while there is no current cure for any types of dementia, the number of deaths from the condition would be halved the onset of dementia was delayed by five years.

Dementia affects people in different ways, though the common signs to look out for including someone experiencing memory loss or having difficulty concentrating. A person may also find it difficult to carry out daily tasks that they are familiar with — getting confused when trying to sort out the correct change when shopping, for instance — and struggle to either follow a conversation or find the right word when speaking to someone. Look out for individuals being confused about the time and the place where they are too, as well as mood changes.

It’s also important to look into the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, as this is the most common cause of dementia that affect 62 per cent of all of those diagnosed with dementia.

The signs to be aware of associated with Alzheimer’s disease include people repetitively asking questions, having problems with their memory – they may regularly forget names, faces or events which have only recently occurred, for example – and becoming more confused when they are in environments that they aren’t familiar with. Other common symptoms include a person encountering increasing difficulty completing tasks or getting involved in activities which require planning or organisation, as well as if they become more anxious or withdrawn.

If you think that someone you know is showing signs related to Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia, you can find dementia information and support services from the NHS.