Try Out These 5 Suggestions The Next Time You’re Snowed In

What do you do on snow days that you just don’t want to leave your house?
 
Sure it’s always great to just relax in front of your TV with a cozy blanket, thick socks, a warm drink and not a care in the world, but why not try one or more of the following suggestions the next time you’re snowed in!
 
1. Warm yourself up by breaking a sweat.
 

 
Although skipping the gym because of snow is a good excuse to bail out of your workout for the day, you don’t have to! Why not work out your entire body in your living room? Try for 20-minutes the following exercises: high knee jumps, squats and planks. By partaking in short, but high-intensity, workouts, you can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well strengthen up your muscles and bones.
 
2. Do some cooking!
 

 
Sound like a chore? Well don’t treat it as one! Instead, try cooking up a hearty recipe that requires a few hours to cook, a dish you wouldn’t normally cook on a work day! Something like a crock pot soup would be ideal for the day since nothing says better than warming up with some delicious hot soup.
 
3. Nap for a bit.
 

 
Take advantage of having a free day by doing absolutely nothing other than catching up on your Zs!
 
4. Play some board games to pass the time
 

 
Exercise your brain with some board games! Gather your family members or friends and play a game that will make the day go by fast! Not only are you spending some quality time with close ones, but research has also suggested that board games is good for cognitive functioning.
 
5. Do some coloring
 

 
Get in with the trend and try some adult coloring. Not only is it relaxing, but it also helps in reducing stress!

2017, Time To Let Go For A Happier And Hopeful New You

Walk away from these things right away for a better and happier year.

For this year’s new year resolution, do something different. Think of all the things that can affect you not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. Pledge to work on your overall wellbeing this year. Here are things you must move on from in the beginning of 2017 itself:

Toxic friends: You need to get rid of friends who treat you as convenience stores and drain you emotionally. They don’t want you to succeed and will put you down most of the times. Whether it is discouraging your weight loss plans or playing mind games to confuse you all the time.

Heartbreak: If you have experienced a heartbreak in 2016, it’s time to work hard to move on this year. Get it out of your system because the person does not deserve your tears or hatred. So don’t waste your time and energy on them. Start your new life with enthusiasm and look forward to better things in life.

What people say: Someone may be better than you academically, or at a better position in a professional life. Then there’ll be someone married with kids at your age while people still bug you for choosing to live independently. Forget what people say and live your dream. You know what is best for you. Remember that from the first week of 2017.

Grudges: Fighting or arguments with friends, colleagues or your loved ones are a part and parcel of your life. But don’t hold on to grudges now. People around you can have different opinions and perceptions. Accept that fact. Let go off all the grudges this year so that you can be at peace mentally.

Underestimating yourself: Stop thinking that others are better than you. It can affect your self-esteem in many ways and also make you under-confident. This lack of confidence will affect you not just professionally but emotionally too. It is time you start analyzing your capabilities and make the best of it.

Laziness: It’s important to sleep 7-8 hours a day but anything more than that is being lazy. You must rest when required but you’ll have to work hard at all other times. If you want to succeed and make the most of your time. Stop procrastinating and just planning. It’s time to execute your plans this year.

Useless feelings: We all get hurt, feel disappointed, offended at several occasions. But what is important is that you don’t allow these feelings to affect your overall wellbeing. Learn to be practical this year and leave all those useless feelings that hold you back.

Struggle to be perfect: Mental peace and happiness are more important than being perfect. No one is perfect and that’s the thing you need to keep in mind. So don’t struggle to prove yourself all the time and do everything perfectly. Prioritize and things that are not in your control are best delegated to others. There is no harm in taking help.

Giving excuses: Is the cold weather your excuse for not going to the gym? Or just because your maid is on leave, are you going to eat out all week? Stop using excuses to not follow a healthy lifestyle. Get rid of all of them at the beginning of this year.

Research Suggests Being Lazy Equals Sign of High Intelligence

A study done by an independent research firm in the US has made findings that suggest those with higher intelligence spend less energy doing physical activities, as they less likely to get bored because they spend more of their time thinking.
 
When compared to those who are of lower intelligence, it is said that they need to be engaged in more physical activities for stimulation, because they are more likely to become bored with their environment and don’t like to spend any of their free time in thought.
 

 
In the study done to track this hypothesis, the researchers tracked the physical activity of two groups of participants, who were deemed either low or high intelligence based off of a cognition test. According to the results, they found that those who were more engaged in thought were the ones who were less active, and those who were less in thought were the ones who were most active.
 
While this confirmed their hypothesis, the researchers were then posed with the threat of highly intelligent people having lower health, due to the fact that they were engaged less in physical activity.
 

 
It seems as if no matter which way you go there are pros and cons to both sides. Those are have tendencies to be in thought more should be aware of their health conditions and spend less time in thought and more being active.

Stop Burying Yourself in Work, Increase Your Productivity

Burnout and work-related stress is on the up – no wonder our productivity is so low.

Burnout is on the rise. Work-related stress is reaching epidemic levels. We are working longer hours, and the kicker? As a nation, our productivity is at the lowest level since records began.

We have a serious work/life problem in the UK, and one which could have devastating effects to the long-term health and wellbeing of our employees.

We’re not alone. This toxic combination of overworking and low productivity is also present – and more extreme – in Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun’s unique working culture means that a typical employee works 60 hours a week and even 80 – 100 hour weeks are common.

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Japan’s problem of overworking is so acute that, in the last four years, suicides directly related to overworking have increased by 45 percent, while working yourself to death even has its own name – karoshi. Could we be laying the foundations for karoshi to prosper, here in the UK?

BAD HABITS ARE ENDEMIC

To get a handle on the scale of the problem here, two-thirds of us are now working more hours than we did two years ago, while only 10% believe they are more productive as a result. So where’s the disconnect?

The problem is that we have a tendency to glorify working long-hours, gleefully broadcasting our martyrdom across social media or at the water cooler, on the occasions we find ourselves burning the midnight oil or working weekends. The sad truth is that in many businesses, working late has become a badge of honour which separates the ‘dedicated’ and ‘passionate’ late workers, from the ‘disinterested’ and ‘uncommitted’ clock watchers.

Overwhelmed: Overwork is a growing phenomenon. Photo: AFPrelaxnews

We now have a cultural problem where many business owners and managers actually view working longer hours as a mandatory path that must be trodden to demonstrate loyalty, dedication and passion, en route to a promotion.

These bad practices have left many workers struggling with wellbeing, with one in four stating that work makes them unhappy. Working longer hours doesn’t always equate to increased productivity and by fostering a culture where excessive overtime is linked to career progression, we are recklessly ignoring workplace wellbeing, whilst being both small-minded and counter-productive. So why are so many businesses still gambling with the health of their employees?

NOT JUST A HR PROBLEM

The damaging impact of overworking reaches far beyond employee health and wellbeing. A culture of overworking can also a filter down and cripple a nation’s economic performance, which is why its no surprise that the rise of karoshi has coincided with Japan’s economic growth, productivity and ability to innovate all grinding to a halt.

Japan’s post-war economic growth was built on high-tech innovation, yet today its more often than not associated with corporate decline, sluggish growth and general stagnation. While there are many factors which have contributed to this, Japan’s corporate culture is clearly in need of a reboot.
UK productivity is also at rock bottom. We are working longer hours and over servicing is a growing problem. The stress and wellbeing of our biggest asset, our people, is being seriously compromised, but like Japan, could we also be putting our ability to innovate on the line?

AS EMPLOYERS WE HAVE A CHOICE

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As business owners and managers we have the power to decide how we run our companies and how we treat our employees. Company cultures and business norms can be rewritten. We make the conscious decision whether or not we should sacrifice the health and wellbeing of employees in an attempt to boost productivity and profit.

I’ve worked in macho environments where working longer hours takes on a competitive edge and it’s not healthy. It’s for that reason that when I started my own business, breatheHR, I made the conscious decision to ensure as a bare minimum, I would allow my employees to leave on time each day.

While there will obviously be exceptions to the rule, generally speaking, if an employee has to work late are they really working effectively during their normal working hours? If you encourage them to leave on time you inspire them to be more disciplined at work and motivate them to be more productive throughout the day so that they can leave at the same time as everyone else.

Therefore, it’s important to let your employees know that you expect a lot from them because you want to challenge them and allow them to contribute to the success of the business. But you also need to emphasise the need for balance and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

On a positive note, issues relating to employee wellbeing are finally rising up the boardroom agenda. But there is much work still to be done – both in terms of recognising when specific employees are struggling, and also knowing how to help them.

As a nation we need to wake up to the damage that our ‘work late’ culture is inflicting because it definitely isn’t healthy and it doesn’t improve productivity. This could also be the thin end of the wedge, with our ability to produce and innovate under serious threat.

As employers it’s down to us to adopt more progressive people management strategies that will ensure karoshi never makes its way to these shores.

Investing more in the health and wellbeing of our staff is therefore vital, but for a quick fix, why not make sure your employees leave on time today?

Life Got You Down? Eat Some Yogurt!

There have been studies done that tell us that certain types of food have the ability to alter your mood, but new research has shown that yogurt may have the ability to cure depression.
 
Research done by the University of Virginia has shown that when fed yogurt – mice with behavior similar to depression, have their behaviors reversed. The research goes into detail by saying that the amount of bacteria contained in our stomachs has the ability to alter our mental health. To add to that fact, it has been revealed that those with poor diets are more likely to become depressed.
 

 
It has been said that over 300 million of the worlds population may suffer from depression, making it the leader in the category of disabilities. With that said, if there was confirmation that yogurt has the ability to cure yogurt, there would be less of a need for numerous expensive pharmaceuticals and instead people could consume yogurt.
 
Researchers have concluded that there isn’t enough research done on the subject to make a conclusion, but believe that they are on the right track towards coming up with a better solution to depression. With numerous factors going into what actually causes someone to become depressed, they’re finding it hard to make a single cure-all at the moment.
 

 
For now, these researchers suggest that yogurt should be eaten by everyone, regardless of their mental state.

Life Got You Down? Hit the Bar and Socialize!

Going to local pubs more often with friends may be good for your health, suggest Oxford scientists who found that moderate alcohol consumption may improve wellbeing due to the increased social interaction.

While most studies warn of the health risks of alcohol consumption, researchers have looked at whether having a drink may play a role in improving social cohesion, given its long association with human social activities.

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Researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK looked at whether the frequency of alcohol consumption or the type of venue affected peoples’ social experiences and wellbeing by combining data from three separate studies – observing conversational behaviour in pubs, a questionnaire-based study of pub clientele and a national survey by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

They found that people who have a ‘local’ that they visit regularly tend to feel more socially engaged and contented, and are more likely to trust other members of their community.

They also observed that those without a local pub had significantly smaller social networks and felt less engaged with, and trusting of, their local communities.

Image result for drinking at the barThe study also showed that those who drank at local pubs tended to socialise in smaller groups, which encouraged whole-group conversation, while those drinking in city-centre bars tended to be in much larger groups, and participated much less in group conversation.

“This study showed that frequenting a local pub can directly affect peoples’ social network size and how engaged they are with their local community, which in turn can affect how satisfied they feel in life,” said Robin Dunbar, Professor at University of Oxford.

“Our social networks provide us with the single most important buffer against mental and physical illness. While pubs traditionally have a role as a place for community socialising, alcohol’s role appears to be in triggering the endorphin system, which promotes social bonding,” said Dunbar.

“Like other complex bonding systems such as dancing, singing and storytelling, it has often been adopted by large social communities as a ritual associated with bonding,” he said.

“Personal wellbeing and happiness have a massive impact not only on individual lives, but on communities as a whole,” said Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman.

Image result for drinking at the bar

“It will be of no surprise to CAMRA members that pubs play such a pivotal role in a person’s wellbeing, but it is fantastic news to hear that this wisdom has now been confirmed by research,” Valentine said.

“Pubs play a unique role in offering a social environment to enjoy a drink with friends in a responsible, supervised community setting,” he said.

“For this reason, we all need to do what we can to ensure that everyone has a ‘local’ near to where they live or work – the first step to which is to strengthen planning protection for pubs to stem the 21 pubs closing across this country each week,” Valentine said.

Increase Your Mood, Bike Your Way to Happiness

Research from the YMCA confirms what all cyclists already know

If you’re in a good mood at your desk while everyone else has the Monday morning blues, it could have something to do with your ride into work, according to the latest research.

A study by the YMCA has revealed what every cyclist knows already: that exercise makes you happier, with people with a physically active lifestyle having a wellbeing score that is 32 per cent higher than those with inactive lifestyles.

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Researchers questioned 1,000 UK adults on a variety of factors affecting wellbeing, such as feeling cheerful and being optimistic about the future, and then analysed the relationship between their answers and their lifestyle.

The results showed that having an active lifestyle increased wellbeing scores by an average of 13 per cent, with exercise being particularly useful for helping people feel relaxed and increasing self-esteem.

Speaking about the findings, Rosi Prescott, the chief executive at Centra YMCA, said that she wasn’t surprised by the results of the report.

“These results confirm something we at Central YMCA have been aware of for a long time – physical activity greatly impacts our overall wellbeing.

“Our organisation works with people every day to help them lead more active lifestyles so we see first-hand how increases in physical activity can impact your mood, wellbeing and ultimately happiness.

“So, we’re not surprised that the research has shown those who are more active typically enjoy wellbeing scores that are up to a third better than those who are less active.”

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However, it’s not all about exercise, with mental stimulation having the same impact on wellbeing as leading an active lifestyle.

Being surrounded by negative relationships also has the potential to reduce wellbeing by 33 per cent, so the report doesn’t give you complete free rein ride your bike while your partner looks after the kids and does the shopping. Sorry.

Get Physical, Beat Heart Disease

We sit a lot more now than our ancestors did. As a result  we are becoming more inactive which is not good for our health and wellbeing. And certainly not good for our heart. Being physically inactive is the cause for many ailments. In fact physical inactivity worldwide is said to cause 3.2 million deaths annually. This modern day ailment is often referred to as the “sitting disease”.

Medical experts are aware that regular physical exercise reduces death from all causes and particularly from heart disease in middle age people. However, very little is known about the benefit of exercise in older people relating to death due to heart disease.

A Finnish study examined whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) could reduce deaths from all-causes and particularly from cardiovascular disease in older adults.

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This study consisted of 2,465 participants aged 65-74 and both men and women. These participants were drawn from the national health study conducted between 1997 and 2007.

The participants had to answer a questionnaire where they recorded their lifestyle habits including whether they smoked or not and if they exercised. Researchers also knew about their level of education, height and weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels – all recorded and checked by trained nurses.

The study was followed until the end of 2013. The scientists then obtained records for the Finnish mortality register to examine how many of the participants had died and from what causes.

What they found is that moderate to high LTPA was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Image result for seniors walking

The researchers explain that physical exercise acts through many pathways to improve the heart’s health. Physical activity maintains a healthy body weight and body composition ratio, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of blood cloths, improves cardiac function and respiratory fitness. It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, improve insulin resistance and the ratio of unhealthy to healthy cholesterol in the body.

The researchers explain that for older adults who have been sedentary for a while, reaching a vigorous level of activity is unlikely. But taking a walk is the easiest and the safest way of achieving moderate level of intensity which can reduce their risk of death by cardiovascular problems.

If you are moderately active, physical exercise is already improving your health in many ways and especially the health of your heart. But if you have been sedentary for a while, especially if you are of mature age, it is certainly beneficial to even take a walk to get started on improving your heart health and your overall wellbeing.

Sleep Better With These 3 Tips!

Having troubles sleeping because you keep tossing and turning in bed? Can’t get your mind to calm down to catch those Zs? Well, try these 3 suggestions that will help you sleep better! Just like diet and exercise, sleeping is important to one’s body so don’t skip out on having a good night’s sleep.
 
1. Get rid of the extra bedding on your bed
 

 
Although it’s comfy and cozy to surround yourself with additional blankets and pillows, think about getting rid of some of those bedding. The sleep experts have spoken and they say that the best temperature to get a solid 8 hours of sleep is to sleep on the cooler side, say around 60 to 67 degrees.
 
2. Exercise in the morning
 

 
When you’re sleep deprived, waking up early to head to the gym probably doesn’t sound so fun. But studies have proven that if the first thing you do in the morning is exercise, you could reduce your blood pressure, which in turn will allow you to sleep more restfully at night.
 
3. Do some yoga before you sleep
 

 
According to a survey done, people who do some yoga before heading to bed sleep better. Not only does yoga reduce stress, but it also clears your mind.

The Best Wellbeing Trends to Start 2017

Recovery

More and more people seem to be taking on bonkers endurance challenges, from ultramarathons to Tough Mudders. Even the average high-intensity gym class is about pushing your body to the limit. But now there’s a growth in classes focusing on stretching, recovery and calm. In Japan, the practice of wrapping babies in muslin cloth, otonomaki, is now being tried on adults, apparently to help stretch the limbs and comfort them.

Cocoon 

Personalised nutrition

Confused by different diet plans? Now you can go one better by assessing exactly what works for your body. Pure Genetic Lifestyle uses your DNA to formulate diet plans and advise lifestyle changes, while supplement company VITL has launched an app to assess and monitor your nutritional needs.

Nicole Scherzinger completing the Viking Challenge

Measure results, not pounds

Time to end your co-dependent relationship with the weighing scales – fitness gurus want you to focus on your fitness rather than weight. The same goes for those awful “before and after” pics – it’s about achievements rather than aesthetics. “I do not do before and after pictures. I do before and after Viking Performances,” says the Viking Method’s Svava Sigbertsdottir. “On the first day of the month, we do a certain Viking Challenge. Then we train for a month. On the last day, we repeat the challenge and see how much we have truly progressed.” If it’s good enough for Nicole Scherzinger …

Kombucha

Last year must have been the year of the gut, as we gained new awareness of its effects on everything from weight to mood. Kombucha fermented tea is the latest way to boost your good bacteria, and bottles of the stuff are becoming more popular. In its medicinal-look bottles, Jarr is the hipster’s choice of “booch”.

Crawling

Don’t worry, this isn’t some “discover your inner child” workshop, but a type of exercise. Functional movement – jumping, weaving, crouching – is having a moment, and now crawling is the ultimate way to get in shape. Think army recruit. Or panther. Or lizard. It improves strength, stabilises your core and gets the blood flowing.

Ghee

People were doing everything with coconut oil last year – baking with it, using it on their hair, even stirring it into coffee. Now ghee, or clarified butter, is the latest fat to gain hipster points. The Indian staple has a high smoke point so can be used for cooking and is more easily tolerated by those with lactose intolerance. And, yep, people are already putting it in their coffee.

At-home exercising

On-demand training

Boutique gyms continued to shake up the gym industry last year, with their strobe-lit studios, juice bars and fluffy towels, certainly. But class-based gyms also take a hit on your wallet, so more people are turning to at-home apps and video subscriptions, where you can access a range of classes to suit you. BoxxMethod taps into the boxing craze, or try Yogaia for a huge selection of yoga classes.

Mushrooms

Funghi are having a bit of a renaissance in culinary circles, and it turns out they’re pretty good for our health, too. Mushrooms are one of the only rich food sources of vitamin D, and are also rich in selenium, while some varieties are meant to boost your immune system. Hardcore healthy folk will be supping on chaga tea this year, but making a mushroom soup will work nicely too.

Upcycled sportswear

Nike used to be branded a bit of a villain in the sportswear world, with it’s corporate “big business” ethos, but it has blazed a trail when it comes to sustainability. Last year it revealed that 71 per cent of its products contain recycled material. Now Adidas has produced a trainer, the Adidas x Parley, with an upper made entirely from yarns and filaments produced using plastic salvaged from the ocean.

Charcoal toothpaste

It seems counterintuitive to brush your teeth with something black, but this is the latest in cult dental care – and is supposed to actually make your teeth whiter. Plus, it is non-abrasive, natural, and won’t leave your mouth tasting like a chimney.

Turmeric lattes

Rainbow lattes

If you’re looking to cut back on coffee, there are other alternatives to matcha. Turmeric lattes are already becoming a “thing” – the spice is mixed with frothed nut milk for a bright yellow warming drink that’s rich in antioxidants. The healthy food company Rude Health has experimented with its milks and a rainbow of other ingredients for a range of interesting hot drinks, from charcoal to spirulina and beetroot and ginger, and will be serving them alongside their coffees in its London café.

Nourishing, not detoxing

Rather than cutting out entire food groups in your effort to be healthy, try adding in nutrients. Sprinkle some seeds on your porridge, add some kidney beans to your cottage pie, and think about what you are putting in rather than taking out. The Pure Package has launched a nourishing cleanse for the new year featuring warming soups, protein-packed smoothies and (gasp) even rice and potatoes.

Micellar bars

High-protein products have become a hit, from shakes to snack bars, with even Mars getting in on the action. Micellar casein bars are a bit different, though. They are a before-bed snack for after-work gym goers, meaning your body won’t be stocking up on calories overnight, as the bars instead slowly release protein without the sugar spike.