Easy Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Ever

Summer is a fun and celebratory time for many people. It can make us all feel more festive, happy, and hopeful. Schools are out, and the weather hots up (here’s to hoping anyway). So it is worth making our summertime be the happiest and best yet, by making sure that we are the happiest and healthiest yet too. Setting yourself some small goals to get yourself ready for summer can one the best things to do. It could also be time to make a few changes, in order to be healthier in time for the summer months. We haven’t got long! So here are some suggestions to make sure that your summer is the healthiest and best yet.

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Sort Out Your Sleep Routine

There is nothing worse than when it comes to summer and longer days, meaning it can be harder to get to sleep. So now is the time to think about your sleeping routine and if there is anything you should be doing to improve it. It might just be the case of getting blackout blinds. It might just be the case that you need to focus on getting to bed one hour earlier than you normally do. It might be getting out of the habit of checking your phone in bed. Whatever it is for you, it is time to make some changes.

Shift Some Weight

In order to be at your healthiest, then for many of us, losing some weight will help us get to our optimum weight. When we are lighter, we will be looking better, but more importantly, improving our internal health. So we can run, play, swim, and enjoy the sun of the summer all day long when you’re feeling much healthier and fitter.

Kick Bad Habits

All of us have some kind of vice that we lean on a little. It might just be that you’re a bit of a Diet Coke girl and love to have a can regularly. It might be other things that could be detrimental to your health like having too much wine on a daily basis, or you smoke a few too many cigarettes. If you want to be at your healthiest, then habits like this need to be kicked to the kerb. Otherwise, you might find that you are spending summer at an in patient alcohol rehab centre. So think about what makes you reach for your vices and then you can go from there.

Go with Grains

Whole grains are packed with goodness that we all need. They have protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and even antioxidants. When they are included as part of a healthy balanced diet, it could even help to reduce your risk of things like diabetes and coronary heart disease. So they sound like a no-brainer to add to your diet, don’t they? They can be eaten hot or cold once cooked, and work well with lots of fresh veggies. So they make a perfect option for eating over summer!

Operation Preparation: How To Get Ready For Hospital Procedures

 

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Whether you have a medical or cosmetic treatment, surgery and operational procedures can be an incredibly scary experience. There will be a lot that is racing through your mind but taking a few small, smart steps before your operation can help you approach the big day with confidence – and ensure a smooth recovery. Here are a few tips that will help you deal with and prepare for surgery.

Read the instructions!

All surgical procedures need you to do a few specific things before the big day. Your consultant or doctor will give you all the information you need to prepare properly, and it’s vital that you read it all and take it in. Many people turn up on the day of the op without giving their info leaflet a second glance, and it will just end up as a waste of your time – and the hospital’s resources.

Quit smoking

Every doctor will tell you to quit smoking, of course, but it’s even more important to do so – even if only temporarily – at least a few weeks before the big day. Patients that smoke are more complicated to deal with when they go under the knife, and if you want to avoid the prospect of complications, you’ll need to kick the habit.

Overcome your fears

Fear of surgery is a common issue, but it’s essential that you don’t let your anxiety cause you to cancel or postpone your procedure. Putting it off will just delay the inevitable, and if you are suffering from an illness, you will only be allowing it to worsen. Timing can be critical in some cases, and sometimes only surgery can reveal the full extent of your disease. So, if you have concerns about the op, speak to your doctor. They will be able to point you in the right direction for help, and ensure that you approach the big day with confidence rather than fear.

Be active

Be as active as you possibly can before your operation – but always chat to your doctor beforehand to ensure you are doing the right type of exercise. Going into a surgical procedure when you are fit and healthy will reduce your recovery time and have a positive impact on your outcome. Also, you might be spending a long period recovering on healthcare furniture and beds while you are in a hospital, and could be unable to exercise for a few weeks after the procedure. The fitter you are beforehand, the least impact your inactivity will have.

Arrange your follow-up care

Finally, make sure that your loved ones, family, and friends are all aware of your needs after the operation. Give the people in your life the time to learn new skills – maybe they will need to put dressings on or change your bandages, for example. Some people don’t like to make a fuss, and won’t ask for help – but a speedy recovery might rely on others giving you assistance.

The vast majority of surgical procedures occur without a hitch. And much of the success is due to how you prepare for your big day and plan for your recovery. Get these simple things right, and with a little luck – and a lot of skill from the surgeon – your op has every chance of success.

Four Great Rules To Live By That Will Truly Affect Your Appearance

 

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There is so much more to looking your best than dressing well and expertly applied cat-flick eyeliner, unfortunately. Not only do we have to consider our weight, hairstyle, and fashion, there’s all manner of seemingly innocuous things that will sneak up on us and make us look tired, old, or just plain drab. It can seem like a bit of a minefield, but there are four basic rules to follow.

  1. Prioritise a good diet

A bad diet can have a really detrimental effect on our appearance, and it’s not just our weight that suffers. Eating fatty or oily food in high quantities can make our hair limp, and our skin look dull or spotty. We also need lots of vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats in our diets to ensure strong hair growth, clear skin, and healthy skin rejuvenation. Water is also crucial for keeping skin looking clear, aiding weight loss, and just making us look awake. Yo-yo diets can also cause poor skin and lifeless hair, and even result in weight gain. The best way to look great and benefit from clear skin is to enjoy a healthy balanced diet and good hydration – easy peasy.

  1. Avoid bad habits

It might surprise people to know that there are so many bad habits that people associate with poor long-term health which can also have an immediate impact on physical appearance. Smoking, for example, not only compromises life expectancy and health, but it can seriously affect looks too. Lines around the mouth, skin discolouration, dull skin, and a bad odour are all almost immediate side effects of smoking. Drinking too much alcohol can also cause the skin to look dull and tired, and weight gain is also common.

  1. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason

If you’re a stranger to sleep, you’ll be no stranger to dark circles and maybe even other skin complaints. When we miss out on sleep, our bodies produce cortisol, known colloquially as the stress hormone, which worsens inflammation such as acne or psoriasis. Our bodies also rely on sleep to rejuvenate and create more collagen, which is essential for keeping skin plump and elastic. Missing sleep can even speed up the aging process, so don’t skimp on it!

  1. Consider your medications

Some medication can have side effects of skin problems, and it can be difficult to know what to expect before you start taking them. This is especially the case for contraception, as the use of hormones can have a significant effect on skin clarity. The two major types of contraceptive pill, the mini pill or the combined, such as the Yasmin pill, use different combinations of hormones, so will affect the body differently. On the plus side, if one has a negative effect, the other might work perfectly, so make sure you speak to your doctor if you think this could be a problem for you.

There are so many factors which affect our appearance, many of which we never consider, even though their impact can be significant. Just remember, if you’re worried about anything it’s really important to see your GP for advice.

 

Couple’s Workouts: Yea Or Nay?

It’s that happy time of year when we all try and stick to resolutions and maintain motivation for longer than 2 weeks. If you’re still going with a new exercise regime, well done! You’ve made it a lot further than many people. If your motivation levels are dwindling by the day, you may be thinking about varying your workouts, but have you considered embracing the new trend of couple’s workouts? Here are some of the pros and cons to consider.

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The pros

You get your own cheerleader

When you work out with your partner, you’ll have your own cheerleader to encourage you and push you that little bit further. If you’ve got someone there to give you that extra boost you’re likely to get more out of the sessions.

Moral support

Rocking up to the gym on your own can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not a seasoned athlete. If you go with your other half, you’ve got a workout buddy straight away, and you’ll probably feel more comfortable.

Fun

If you have fun while you exercise, you’re much more likely to stick at it and want to go back to the gym on a regular basis. If you’re listening to music together, chatting, and having a laugh, the time will fly by, and you won’t consider your workouts a chore.

Joint celebrations

The couple that trains together can celebrate together. After a hard week at work and giving it our all in the gym, you can enjoy a well-earned treat together at the weekend. You can bask in the bliss of knowing that you’ve earned that takeaway or a 3-course feast at your favourite restaurant.

The cons

Your appearance

Many people feel self-conscious about how they look when they work out. Let’s face it, being bright red and sweaty isn’t everyone’s idea of their best look. If you’ve been together for a long time, you probably don’t mind him seeing you with sweaty hair and rosy cheeks, and you can put up with him being one of the grubbiest men in the gym. However, if it’s a relatively new relationship, you may not be ready to let your guard down just yet.

Different interests

If you’re working out together, you need to find activities that you both enjoy. If you love the cardio machines, but your partner prefers to lift weights, you’re probably both going to lose interest if you try and do similar programmes. If you do have different interests, you could work out at the same time, but follow separate plans. You may also find that you have different levels of fitness, and this can make it tough to train together. If you’re finding everything a challenge, and your partner’s skipping through the workout with no problem, this could also make you feel less confident.

If you’re a fan of Instagram, you may have come across images of couples working out together. It may look cosy and glamorous on the images, but would you really want to work up a sweat at the gym with your other half? Hopefully, this article has helped you to decide whether to say yea or nay to feeling the burn together.

Why You Should Stop Smoking before Surgery

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If you know you’re due to have surgery – whether for medical or cosmetic reasons – you should make every effort to stop smoking as soon as possible. You should aim to quit completely as soon as possible before the date of the operation.

The reasons why

Non-smokers experience fewer ill-effects during and after the anaesthetic and they often recover much more quickly than smokers. Their wounds are more likely to heal with no infections and with less visible scarring. If you have, for example, tummy tuck surgery in Manchester with Dr Gary Ross, he will recommend that you stop at least six weeks beforehand.

Your body, especially your lungs and heart, start to recover and repair themselves as soon as you quit smoking.

The more time that elapses between you quitting and having your surgery means more repair and recovery.

Smokers spend on average two days more in hospital after surgery than non-smokers.

If you carry on smoking

You’re at increased risks of chest infections, post-operative blood clots in the lungs or legs and your wounds will heal much more slowly. All this puts you at more risk of infections.

You have a 30% chance of post-op breathing and/or heart problems.

You’re 12 times more likely to have wound complications, including infections and ruptures.

Why smoking is bad for you

Chest infections

Your lungs are lined with millions of cilia – tiny hair-like projections that wave about and move mucus up from the lungs and air passages. Smoking temporarily paralyses these cilia so they can’t do their job of removing mucus, dust and other foreign bodies. This makes smokers much more prone to infections, especially after a general anaesthetic.

The effects of nicotine

Nicotine raises the heart rate and blood pressure – during an operation, when you’re under an anaesthetic, it’s crucial that heart rate and blood pressure are maintained within strict parameters.

Increased risk of blood clots

If you smoke your blood will have high levels of compounds that can cause it to clot faster than a non-smoker’s blood. This increases the risk of post-op blood clots in the lungs and lower legs; these clots can be fatal.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO2) is a toxic gas inhaled with cigarette smoke. It reduces the ability of your blood to carry oxygen, which in turn can increase the risk of heart attacks, gastric ulcers and strokes. While you’re under an anaesthetic, your blood may carry less oxygen than a non-smoker, which can starve the heart and brain. Post-operatively, lower levels of oxygen can delay healing and make you more prone to infections.

What you need to do

Ideally, you should give up as soon as you know you’re having surgery. If you feel you can quit quickly and cleanly, then do so; if not, see your GP or practice nurse for help with making a managed withdrawal. You may, if you need, use nicotine replacement therapy, but remember that nicotine on its own will affect your surgery and recovery.

Your safest option both for your operation and for your long-term health is to quit smoking for good – you can do it!

5 Quick Tips for Boosting Skin Health

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Healthy skin is beautiful skin, but sometimes it can be all-too-easy to ditch a step in our skincare regimen here and there. The skin care experts over at www.skincarebyalana.com are firm believers that what you put on your skin is only half the battle, which is why I want to share these 5 quick tips for boosting skin health with you!

Quick Tip #1 – Apply (and Reapply) Your SPF – Sun protection seems to be a pretty engrained practice in today’s skincare/makeup world, but how many of you can honestly say you diligently reapply? The typical rule of thumb is to slather one your SPF once every two hours when you are relaxing in indirect sunlight, and at least once an hour if you are sweating or soaking beach/poolside in direct sunlight. While applying SPF in the morning is a great first step, it does not protect you throughout the day, so be sure to find a reapplication method that works for you and stick to it! A huge trend as of recently has been powdered sunscreen, and we are also seeing an emergence of sunscreen infused makeup setting sprays hitting the market as well!

Quick Tip #2 – Try Exfoliating – If you have not jumped on board the exfoliating train, there is no better time than now! Exfoliating does so many things for you skin, and helps to deliver both immediate and long-term results. In the short term, you can expect to see brighter, healthier skin. This is the result of sloughing away dead skin cells to reveal the fresh skin underneath. In the long-term you can expect a smoother, more even skin tone! This is because exfoliation helps to stimulate cellular turnover, and also allows your products to penetrate your skin much better.

Quick Tip # 3 – Get Your Hands on a Primer – Though primers have gained some traction in the makeup/skincare world, the honest truth is that many people still are not embracing them. Why? Because it is yet another step in their makeup/skincare routine – though a totally worthwhile one in my opinion. If large pores, oiliness, or uneven skin are an issue for you, primers can be a great quick fix. Good primers help to fill in enlarged pores and fine lines, and even out skin tone, in an effort to give you a beautiful canvas. A common misconception is that you must wear a foundation over your primer, which is not so! Enjoy a loose setting powder or powdered SPF for lighter coverage, and beautiful results. A quick tip: don’t be afraid in invest in a good primer. Some of the best formulas not only help to make your skin look beautiful, but contain ingredients that will help contribute to skin health in the long term!

Quick Tip #4 – Two Words: Eye Cream – This is yet another step that many people seem to overlook, but definitely shouldn’t. The right eye cream can take you for tired looking, to fresh and vibrant in a matter of minutes, while delivering a dose of moisture and nutrients to your skin. The skin around your eyes is some of the most delicate skin on your body, so it is important to preventative care.

Quick Tip #5 – Always Do a Test Strip – There are way too many people who get a new product and confidently slather it on their face, eager to see the results. The fault in this is that you never know how you will react to a new product. While things often turn out just fine, it is very possible to have a negative reaction, which can range from minor to major. Rather than diving right in, be sure to apply a test strip 24-48 hours in advance. You can do this by swiping a small amount of the product along your jaw line (somewhere you can easily see) and waiting to see if any reaction occurs.

My Guide To Keeping Fit In London For Less

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As many of you might already know, I’m always on the lookout for ways to stay fit and healthy. And, I also have an eye for a bargain. Recently, I’ve been looking around the web for some inspiration for some new – and cheap – keep fit ideas, and I thought I would share them with you. Whether you are just starting out on a new health regime or want to push yourself that little bit further, there is plenty here for all. Let’s take a look at what I have found for you.

Get back on the saddle

I was in Soho the other day and popped into Shinola to look at some bags that had caught my eye. However, as soon as I walked in, my eyes were drawn to something else entirely: an incredibly gorgeous bicycle. Now, it’s been far too long since I have ridden a bike in earnest, but I think I might just climb into the saddle again. I’m very lucky to live in London because the vast majority of places are accessible by bike. There aren’t many enormous hills to scale, and it’s often quicker to cycle than it is to drive. Of course, you do need to be careful on the busy roads, but you can avoid them if you know where you’re going. Fancy joining me?

Free fitness classes

If you’re going to two or three fitness classes every week, it can chew into your finances, fast. So, why not trade one in for one of the many free classes that are run by some of the major sports brands? Nike, Reebok, Asics and many more all host free sessions at their fitness hubs. It’s a great way of saving a little money – and you should get to meet some new people, too. Time Out have a great guide to freebie classes, so check it out and find somewhere near you.

Get on the fitness trail

If you don’t mind the cold and wet during the winter months (and some of the summer ones, too!) then make use of some of London’s finest fitness trails. There are many outdoor gyms that you can use for the princely sum of zilch, and, as you get fitter, you could even run between them for a great workout. There are gyms in Battersea Park, Primrose Hill and many other places – head over to Muddy Plimsolls for a great little map. One thing to be aware of, though – these outdoor gyms can get busy, especially during lunchtimes. It might be best to use them early in the morning.

Say hello to Parkrun

Parkrun are a very cool organisation that hold 5K runs on a regular basis – for free. There are always loads going on in London, so keep an eye on their events page. All you need to do is turn up, and keep track of your personal best. Over time, you’ll soon be smashing your best times and becoming a faster, fitter runner.

Well, that’s all we have time for right now. Let me know if you hear about any free sports sessions anywhere in the capital – I’m always looking for new ways to workout