Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Five Ways to Smile Just a Little Brighter

By thbt182, Thursday, October 31, 2013

Smile Clean Teeth 500x333 Five Ways to Smile Just a Little BrighterHalloween is one of our favorite national pastimes. Just think about it for a second: it involves dressing up like your favorite character or pop culture figure, watching scary movies and eating tons of sugary foods. While the first two are rather harmless – unless you have a heart condition and attempt to watch something a little too scary – the third could have a major impact on your teeth down the road. Sugar and healthy teeth simply don’t go hand in hand.

There’s no question that everyone wants a bright smile. Cosmetic dentistry services and products are a multi-billion dollar industry as individuals attempt to retain their youthful smile. Anyone who doesn’t have healthy teeth can tell you the problems with a poor smile. They could be social problems, like trouble dating or low self-esteem, to physical problems, including gum disease, oral cancer or even heart problems. Luckily, there are ways to preserve your smile. Here are five of the most effective:

Learn How to Brush and Floss Correctly

Yes, you probably know that you’re supposed to brush and floss every day, but how many of us are actually doing these mandatory precautions correctly? Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to brush correctly. They may not be making the right motion, not know the correct time to do it, or may be missing out on some hard to reach places, like those back molars. The same goes for flossing. While some blood is certainly possible, especially in the beginning, those that floss with poor technique or too much vigor may be doing more harm than good.

Eat the Right Foods

All of that Halloween candy may be great for your taste, but it won’t make your dentist happy. Sugar feeds plaque, and plaque causes inflammation and illness. In addition to sugar, highly acidic foods like soda and citrusy foods can wear away on tooth enamel. Instead, concentrate on foods that rid your teeth of plaque and restore mineral levels, including raw fruits and veggies, some dairy and sesame oil.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking will not only stain your teeth; it could cause greater tooth loss and increase your changes for periodontal disease. Dentists believe this is because of the inflammation caused by cigarette smoke. Smokers are more than twice as likely to get periodontal disease, and they require more time to recover from gum infections.

Consider Getting Dental Implants

For those who suffer from tooth loss, it could be a huge damper on self-esteem and completing the simplest of daily activities, even talking and eating. Dental implants, which have only become available through advancements in manufacturing technology like micro molding components, are becoming a much better long-term alternative to dentures. If you’re concerned about the way your teeth look, there’s no harm in cosmetic dentistry.

See your Dentist Twice a Year

Brushing your teeth, eating correctly and avoiding smoking will do wonders for your teeth, but visiting your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning will ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth. In addition to providing a thorough cleaning, your dentist can identify any present/future issues you might have, so you can be proactive against these things before they become problems.

7 Perks of Getting Older

By millerc086, Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Most young people don’t look far enough into the future to see the fact that they’re already getting older. That’s great for them, but if you’re one of those who worries about Father Time’s meddling, here are some words of truth to calm your soul and relax those frown lines of yours: getting older is actually pretty awesome.

You Know Everything

As much as you can know, anyway. Going through life and its inevitable experiences will leave you with a whole lot of knowledge about the way things work. Even your past mistakes will pay off because you will know how to handle future decisions. Plus, you will undoubtedly know a thing or two more about who you are as a person than you did when you were young.

You Get Respect

After all that living you do, you’ll finally earn yourself some respect. Not only will people come to you for sound advice, they will treat you differently once you have situated yourself as an elder in your community. This respect will manifest itself in many beneficial ways, such as retail and restaurant discounts, and will give you plenty of opportunities to kick back and let someone else wait on you.

You Don’t Have to Look Old

The beauty scientists have been cranking the entire time you’ve been out being young, and you should be grateful. There are plenty of options for you to get rid of your wrinkles and maintain more youthful skin. From Botox injections to anti-aging cream, there are a wide variety of intensive and less invasive methods for you to try; just don’t overdo it, because wrinkles are sexy, too.

You Can Relax a Little Bit

Depending on how much you save up during your life, or if you were able to score a good job with a sound retirement plan, you can really kick back in your old age and enjoy all your hard work. Make sure to set up a 401k plan while you’re young if you don’t have other options. Your “retirement” period is supposed to be the time where you start living for the first time, and that’s reason enough to look forward with a grin.

You Get Grandchildren

Grandchildren are the best. They are like beautiful little children that have your eyes, but that you can drop off to someone else when they throw a temper tantrum. All joking aside, having grandchildren is an enjoyable experience completely unique from your own children, and it’s a golden period to really look forward to.

You Get to Know your Kids as Adults

Being a parent is one thing, but to see your children grow into adults is something else. They will develop into human beings capable of deep and real dialogue, and will have matured recollections of their childhood and unique impressions of the world. The conversations you can have with your grown children are some of the more rewarding you’ll have with anyone.

You Will Love Life

The longer you live, the closer you come to the end of life. This is the hardest part of aging; the feeling of your life beginning to wrap up can be a scary thing. But if you’ve ever spoken to someone at this point in life, they rarely exhibit any fear. When you’re older, you’re at a point where you’ve taken so many breaths in your life, but somehow it helps you appreciate the worth of each one. It’s hard to see now, but with age will come a different mindset that will affect the way you look at where you’ve been and where you’re going. For many, their last years are the best years of their life.

Chris Milleris a professional writer, blogger, and English grammar enthusiast. Chris enjoys learning about new health products, procedures, and ideas.

Exercise May Help Relieve Your Anxiety

By thesweetborn, Saturday, September 28, 2013

Regular exercise is one of the most important factors of optimal health. Aside from helping you become lean and slim, it can also help strengthen your immune system and improve your brain power, as well as prevent and relieve chronic pain, including joint and back pain.

Exercise also benefits your emotional health and is associated with reduced anxiety and calmness.

How Does Exercise Help Calm Your Mind?

It may not seem highly likely that exercise can calm anxiety, especially since it creates new excitable neurons in your hippocampus, the area of your brain involved in your emotions and thinking. These “young” neurons are prone to easy excitement, making them efficient in inducing anxiety.

Exercise Body Health 389x311 Exercise May Help Relieve Your AnxietyHowever, the animal study conducted by researchers from Princeton University showed the opposite. The researchers compared running mice with sedentary mice and found that even though the physically active mice had brains that are loaded with excitable neurons, they also contained new neurons that release a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which works by inhibiting excessive neuronal firing and inducing a natural state of calm.

Prescription anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium work the same way – they boost the action of GABA in your brain. However, the study revealed why exercise may be superior to these anti-anxiety drugs: the physically active mice, when exposed to a stressful situation, responded only with an initial rush of anxiety, followed by calm. The same effect was not seen in the sedentary mice.

What Type of Exercise Is Best for Calming Your Mind?

If you’re one of those people who constantly deal with anxiety and stress, it is a great idea to start a comprehensive exercise program. Any type of physical activity, as long as it does not put strenuous pressure on your body, can have positive effects on your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Duke University researchers published a review of over 100 studies that shows yoga as particularly beneficial for mental health. The researchers found that yoga has positive effects on:

  • Mild depression
  • Sleep problems
  • ADHD (among patients using medication)
  • Schizophrenia (among patients using medication)

Some of the studies revealed that yoga can have an effect similar to psychotherapy and antidepressants, as it helps boost your serotonin levels and influence neurotransmitters. Yoga also helps keep your core muscles strong and flexible, as well as alleviates your back pain.

Still, yoga alone cannot provide you all the benefits that exercise has to offer. Make sure you incorporate a variety of exercises, including high-intensity interval training, resistance training, and strength training, into your routine for optimal results.

Laila Sanders is researching the benefits of exercise, particularly for relieving physical pain, such as back pain, and emotional issues. She refers to natural health websites such as the website of Dr. Mercola to get relevant information about exercise and fitness.

Side Effects of Diabetes in Pregnancy

By raniapaula, Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Diabetes in pregnancy is usually known as gestation diabetes that disturbs insulin production. It one of the most common condition faced by women during pregnancy.
Diabetes in Pregnancy Side Effects of Diabetes in PregnancyDuring pregnancy, a higher level of particular hormones produced in the placenta help to transfer nutrients from mother to the fetus.  Other hormones made by the placenta help to prevent the mother from developing low blood sugar.

If you have diabetes in pregnancy, your body cannot produce enough insulin as a result your blood-sugar level stays high. Diabetes generally starts between weeks 13 to 28 of pregnancy and will go away after your baby’s birth.

If you have diabetes and are planning for a pregnancy, you should  keep your blood sugars level under control before you conceive as this will reduce the risk of further health problems for you and your baby.

Pregnancy will cause various changes within your body, so it is necessary for you to talk with your doctor to make a proper plan to control your sugar level.

Side effects of diabetes in pregnancy:

  • Babies affected by high blood sugar during pregnancy may experience some health problems after the birth such as low and high blood sugar levels and jaundice.
  • Mother’s diabetes may lead to an increased rate of miscarriage and birth defects, which affect major organs like heart and brain.
  • Mother who has diabetes during pregnancy may lead to over-nutrition and excess growth of the baby.
  • If you have diabetes in pregnancy, your child will have increased chance of obesity and develop diabetes in the future.
  • Some babies are born with a low birth weight.
  • Too much amniotic fluid around your baby in your womb.
  • If you have a high blood-sugar level during pregnancy, it can lead to grow your baby larger than expected. This can cause several problems during delivery such as injury to your baby’s shoulder, damaged nerves in your baby’s neck and also brain injury.
  • Your baby is born prematurely because of diabetic pregnancy. This increase the risk of having a condition called respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Preterm labor can cause several problems for a baby such as bleeding in the brain, breathing problems, vision problems, heart diseases and abdominal problems.
  • If you have diabetes in pregnancy, you may have increased risk of C-section rather than vaginal delivery.
  • A woman who has gestational diabetes increases the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage.

If you left your diabetes untreated, it you may result in the risk of high blood pressure and C-section during childbirth.

Rania Paula, Author of this article writes for  www.ehealthyblog.com.

Pros and cons of Electronic cigarette

By abigailleon007, Wednesday, September 4, 2013

E Cigarette Smoking 389x259 Pros and cons of Electronic cigarette Electronic cigarette is definitely not for those who have not reached the required age declared legally, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and people advised medically to abstain from it. Undoubtedly, Electronic cigarette is one good option for those who are already indulged in tobacco smoking. E cig never says or encourages nonsmokers to start vaping. It might have adverse effects on those who are undergoing some treatments. Those who have heart problems, high blood pressure, depression or asthma or such other issues should never try it.

Electronic cigarette is surely helpful for those who want to cut down the level of nicotine. It is not a smoking cessation device rather it can be beneficial for those who are in the habit of conventional tobacco cigarette. The choice of level of nicotine depends solely on customer’s choice. One can go with zero nicotine also. The easy to use E cig is free from ash and odor. The non-flammable electronic device gives the same sensation of tobacco smoking. The advanced microelectronic technology helps in atomizing the flavored liquid into an inhalable vapor and simulates smoke.

The cartridge comes in many flavors. The wide variety of flavors and different strength of nicotine is a boon for its customers. The liquid contained in the cartridges are formulated from the superior quality wherein food-safe ingredients are used. Some of the available flavors are menthol, peppermint, vanilla, chocolate and such others.  There are many places where people might get offended with the exhalation of smoke. E-cig produces vapors which leaves no sign of smoking and also not disturbs the surrounding. It is also good for the near and dear ones of smokers as they won’t be doing passive smoking anymore.

Many a times, in cars or in rooms an odor of smoke can be felt, even if it has not been done right now. The smoke leaves a long lasting odor which is dangerous as well as embarrassing. The vapor does not produce any odor. It is friendly to people, surrounding and environment. Another noticeable feature of e-cig is its price. If we compare the price of conventional electronic cigarette with E cig, the prices of two cartridges of E cig are equal to one pack of tobacco cigarette. Sometimes the price goes down with different brands.

Electronic Cigarette is definitely a better choice which helps in cutting down the consumption of tobacco cigarette and is considered as a practical alternative to tobacco cigarette.

Exercise: A Natural Testosterone Booster

By thesweetborn, Friday, August 23, 2013

Muscle Tattoo Male Man 389x259 Exercise: A Natural Testosterone BoosterWhen asked about the benefits of exercise, most people associate it with cardiovascular health, muscle toning, and weight management. However, there are many other benefits linked to exercise. One overlooked benefit of regular exercise is serving as a natural testosterone booster.

How Exercise Helps Boost Your Testosterone Levels

According to one study, mild to moderate exercise helped increase testosterone levels in participant (short bursts of high-intensity exercises particularly had a beneficial effect). It also helped prevent testosterone decline due to aging, which often starts in men when men reach age 30.

In addition to the natural testosterone boost, high-intensity exercises will also increase your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), also known as the “fitness hormone.” This hormone contributes much to your strength, overall health, and longevity.

High-intensity exercises can be done in under 20 minutes and can be performed anywhere, with or without any equipment. If you’re thinking of performing it at the gym, using an elliptical machine or recumbent bike is advisable. You may also do it outdoors by sprinting, but beginners should avoid doing so to prevent injury.

When you combine high-intensity training with intermittent fasting, you can improve the expression of your body’s satiety hormones, such as leptin and insulin. This supports healthy testosterone production, improves libido, and stops age-related testosterone decline.

What You Should Combine with Exercise for Better Results

There are also studies showing that men who are obese or overweight have low testosterone levels, and burning off excess pounds can help increase such levels.

Apart from high-intensity exercises, you should incorporate strength training to your routine. Building muscle is one of the most effective ways to burn fat.

One thing to remember when strength training is to increase the weight you use and lower the number of reps. You’ll get more positive results by doing exercises that work more than one muscle group. Examples of these are squats and dead lifts.

You should also combine proper diet with your exercise efforts. According to research, consuming sugar will cause your testosterone levels to drop. This happens because sugar leads to an increase in insulin – another contributor to low testosterone.

It is ideal for you to keep your sugar consumption to 25 grams or lower. If you have any condition related to insulin resistance or are overweight, it is strictly recommended that you keep it below 15 grams per day.

Remember, exercise is a safe and natural way to increase your testosterone levels. Doing it regularly and combining it with a proper diet will help you not only promote optimal testosterone production, but also have a better chance at overall wellness.

Laila Sanders is currently researching natural testosterone booster methods for her men’s health blog. She gathers the latest information on men’s wellness by reading online resources like the natural health website of Dr. Mercola.

Fluoridated Water: Your Ticket to Poor Bone and Joint Health

By thesweetborn, Sunday, August 18, 2013

Clean Fresh Water 389x360 Fluoridated Water: Your Ticket to Poor Bone and Joint HealthMany water supplies in the United States undergo fluoridation, and this process has come under scrutiny due to rising health problems, particularly fluoride’s failure in bringing significant improvements in oral problems like tooth decay and cavities.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no proof that there are lower instances of tooth decay in developed countries that fluoridate their water supplies compared to those that do not. The lowered rates of tooth decay in the US, noted in the last 60 years, happened in developed nations that included those who do not fluoridate their water.

Fluoride, when ingested, accumulates in your body and causes numerous health problems, aside from dental conditions.

Ingesting Fluoride Promotes Poor Bone and Joint Health

According to evidence, chronic exposure to fluoride can promote poor bone health. Fluoride intake can cause excessive bone growth, and this condition can affect your joint health, causing stiffness and pain. In addition to joint problems, other problems and symptoms associated with this skeletal problem are:

  •     Fatigue and muscle problems
  •     Burning and tingling sensation in the limbs
  •     Gastrointestinal issues
  •     Altered appetite and weight problems

If not addressed immediately, crippling and disabilities can occur. Moving your joints will be painful and you’ll feel weakness in your extremities. You will become more prone to fractures in the long run.

Fluoride also increases your body’s lead absorption and lowers your thyroid function. There are certain people who are prone to health problems even from mild exposure. They are:

  •     The elderly
  •     Calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin C deficient individuals
  •     Those suffering from cardiovascular problems
  •     Those suffering from kidney problems

Fluoride-Containing Products to Avoid

The well-documented effects of fluoride show that this substance should not be ingested. Health experts recommend avoiding fluoridated water at all costs.

If you’re living in a state were water fluoridation is practiced, it is advisable to install a high-quality water filter to remove fluoride. Out of the few filters that can remove this dangerous toxin is a reverse osmosis filter.

Of course, you can get exposed to fluoride through other ways, such as using fluoride-containing toothpastes and mouth rinses. Other products that may contain fluoride include:

  •     Non-organic foods – These may also contain pesticide residue, which are dangerous to your health
  •     Food and beverage products that are processed using fluoridated water
  •     Meat that is mechanically de-boned
  •     Soy infant formulas
  •     Certain instant tea products
  •     Pharmaceutical drugs, including SSRI, antidepressants, and fluoroquinolones
  •     Breakfast cereals
  •     Fruit juices and soda

Make sure you stick to organic foods, which are grown and cultivated without the use of chemicals and pesticides. This way, you can greatly limit your exposure and avoid fluoride toxicity.

Laila Sanders writes about diet and drinking water on her personal health blog. She recently wrote an article about the dangers of fluoridated water to joint health. She gets information from online resources like the natural health articles of Dr. Mercola.

Diabetes, Weight Loss and Ways of Coping with the Condition

By roselen, Friday, August 16, 2013

 Diabetes, Weight Loss and Ways of Coping with the ConditionPeople with diabetes would often ask questions like, how will I be able to live with the condition? Will it change my life?

And to answer it, live it healthily and yes, it will change your life. But it will be a choice for your if you push it for the better end results.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the shortened version of the condition called diabetes mellitus wherein a person gets a metabolic disease that causes one to have abnormally high glucose content in blood. It can be cause by low production of insulin or maybe your body has the incapability to respond positively with it.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Most common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, thirstiness and even hunger. The symptoms may not really vary with the different kind of diabetes. Yes, there are three. The type 1 diabetes, the type 2 and the gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes has the body incapable of insulin production. It happens earlier and is known for some as juvenile and early onset diabetes. Type 1 though is not as common as type 2.

Type 2 diabetes on the other hand is commonly experienced by many people around the world. The body here may not produce enough insulin or it may not be positive reacting to it. Type 2 diabetes is the most prevalent kind of diabetes in the world.

Diabetes is a progressive disease which may lead patients to usually take insulin for the matter to cope with it. Overweight people have a high chance of contacting it than those who are in the right weight.

Gestational diabetes on the other hand is the type of diabetes that is present only among women. It occurs only during pregnancy.

Complications Caused by the Condition

Many complications can arise form diabetes. Common ones include the eye complications such as cataracts and glaucoma. Foot, skin, and heart complications are common too.

Hypertension should also be watched out. Some may even experience hearing loss and neuropathy due to it. If left untreated, it may even result to erectile dysfunction, infection, stroke and wounds left unhealed.

Losing Weight for Diabetes

So as obesity is a major likelihood of getting diabetes, it is most likely that you will be advised to lose some when you are diagnosed of it. OF course losing some weight while under treatment can be a hard job.

Getting your frame in shape will help your body later to cope with the condition and in helping your leave healthily too.

Coping with Diabetes

  1. Know what it is all about. What is diabetes and how it happened to you. Then know all the complications that might arise. Educate yourself and research more too.
  2. Know your blood sugar. It is even better o have some portable sugar tester with you. This way you can monitor it.
  3. Exercise. Keeping yourself fit is your ultimate revenge against diabetes. It helps in reduction of insulin resistance too. Plus exercise may benefit your other health conditions too such as strengthening your muscles as well as your cardiovascular system.
  4. Know your support. A good support system will be able to lend you the strength whenever you really feel down due to the condition. Have some friends and family to talk to and keep them close.
  5. Eat well. Know what food may be bad for your condition. Manage what you eat and avoid food that will cause your blood sugar to rise.
  6. Keep stress at bay. Why not lift worries from your mind and live a life much happier and stress free? Try to keep yourself occupied and smile.
  7. Always keep in touch with your doctor. You know how it is to keep tabs with your condition, it is a hard job. So know what your current condition is and how you will help in improving it.

So sounds easy? Of course a lot of will also be needed here. But then a dose of common sense as to what to eat and keeping your family ad friend close will really help you cope with it, with flying colors.

Author: Roselen works for a health and fitness magazine as a regular contributor. She is also fond of blogging. She covers different niche but finds health topics to be more appealing. Read some health articles and beauty guide at Costhetics News.

The Great Benefits of High Quality Food Supplements

By Matthew, Thursday, August 1, 2013

fruits 389x258 The Great Benefits of High Quality Food SupplementsIf you’re living life without taking any additional vitamins and minerals, you are certainly missing out on something crucial. Like a solid exercise routine, a balanced diet can improve your chances of health and happiness. While most people know why they should work out on a regular basis, not too many realise that they can gain a number of rewards by including supplements in their daily diet as well. Here are a few of the benefits gained from consuming these vitamins and minerals.

Fill the Gaps in Your Diet

These days, modern food products seldom provide everything that we need when it comes to better health and wellbeing. In order to rectify this, you can purchase some additional dietary supplements to fill any deficiencies that you may have. This will help you avoid a great many issues, avoiding the many symptoms that this kind of poor diet can result in. In fact, by combining a decent combination of supplements with your daily eating regime, you can then give your body everything that it needs to perform well no matter what you are doing throughout your everyday routine.

Prevent Disease

In general, the right vitamins and minerals give your immune system the chance to kill germs and bacteria in an effective manner. This is comparable to how working out regularly helps your muscles avoid injuries later on. As you can thus see, buying the right supplements is similar to shopping for cross trainers for sale. Both give your body’s internal capabilities a boost, allowing you to avoid being ill or injured in the future. Taking additional nutrients such as vitamins and minerals is a great way to prevent calamity that may have been caused by a previously weak immune response.

Boost Strength and Ability

Another benefit of taking the right dietary supplements is that your muscles and joints will gain what they need to perform at their peak. Not only will you gain more energy in your day-to-day life, but specific minerals and vitamins can also boost other physical capabilities. Your strength and endurance will also increase, giving you the ability to perform better no matter what you’re doing. Whether you’re a professional athlete or are just looking for an added pick-me-up in the office, taking the best supplements with your meal is a great way to improve your abilities and go further in your daily routine.

Treat Sickness

As mentioned before, the right nutrients can be used to prevent illness in the future. If you do become sick though, they can also be an effective way of fighting off disease. After all, a strong body is one which can cleanse itself of germs and bacteria in an efficient manner. With some good quality dietary supplements behind you, it is possible to give your immune system everything it needs to rid your internal organs of the menace that has been plaguing them for so long. With a good balance of vitamins and minerals, you can restore your body to its previous condition with ease.

About the Author:

Fitness Market Australia is an Australian-based company that retails health and fitness products online. The company offers cross trainers for sale, as well as other premium items to augment the fitness experience of health buffs everywhere. 

6 Natural Ways to Cure Eczema

By Estelle Page, Sunday, July 28, 2013

7490967888 3da071ae6e z 6 Natural Ways to Cure Eczema

Soft as a baby’s bottom? Well, not if he’s got eczema unfortunately. Image Source

For its sufferers, eczema (also known as dermatitis) can be a debilitating condition – it’s unsightly, it’s uncomfortable and in severe cases it can even be very painful as the skin cracks and bleeds.

It’s more common amongst babies, toddlers and young children – mild cases tend to clear up as the sufferer grows up – who are, unfortunately, also the people most likely to pick and scratch at their dry, flaky skin, which can lead to scarring in later life!

Whether it’s for cosmetic reasons, medical reasons or both, treatments are available but sometimes the downsides seem to outweigh the benefits.

Just take topical steroids for example, which reduce eczema but also make the skin weaker and thinner, increasing the risk of damage and therefore scarring. Plus, eczema around the eyes is already sitting on top of thin, delicate skin so the last thing you want is to use skin-thinning creams here!

Below are some wonderfully natural treatments for eczema that are safe for use on adults, children and babies alike, and some handy recommendations to prevent eczema flaring up…

Tip: Turn Down the Heat

There’s nothing better than a long soak in a hot tub or shower right? Well, wrong actually, as far as your skin is concerned. Water may hydrate your skin when you drink it, but sitting in it does just the opposite – and if you’re there for a long time, or it’s particularly hot, it’s going to dry your skin out even more.

Keep baths or showers short and sweet, and avoid scalding hot ones too! As soon as you’re out, slather on the (natural) body cream to add lost moisture back into your skin. For babies and young children, use luke-warm water only and don’t let them stay in there longer than needed – so buying bath toys is a bad idea!

Tip: Find the Cause

Sometimes, eczema is hereditary. However often it’s caused, or at least aggravated, by certain environmental components. Perhaps your love of tomatoes, that pot plant in your bedroom or even your choice of carpet is causing it to flare up!

Ask your doctor for an allergy test for you or your child – it’s a small price to pay to find out what foods, animals or plants you should be avoiding.

Treatment: Cocoa Butter

When it comes to treating eczema, keeping your skin as hydrated and ‘well fed’ is truly key. Cocoa butter is a wonderfully rich, natural moisturiser that will feed Vitamin E into your skin to keep it soft and elastic.

Of course, if the cream is full of nasty chemicals they could be counteracting all that good work by irritating your skin, so buy an all-natural one or look for pure cocoa butter.

Tip: Switch to Soy

Can’t get an allergy test? Cow’s milk is the most common dietary cause of eczema so if you drink it regularly – or eat a lot of dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese – it’s worth cutting all dairy out for a few weeks to see if the eczema improves. You might be nicely surprised!

If cow’s milk does turn out to be the root of your or your child’s condition, that doesn’t mean milk has to be totally off-limits; look for soy, hazelnut, almond, oat or rice milk. Even goat’s or sheep’s milk might be fine. For babies, breastfeed if possible as formula milk can lead to skin irritations they wouldn’t otherwise have.

Treatment: Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a truly miraculous plant! Not only is it a brilliant moisturiser, it’s also wonderfully soothing – no wonder it’s the base product in most sunburn treatment creams! So if eczema has left your skin cracked and painful, this could be the key – and results can be seen almost instantly.

As with cocoa butter, be sure you’re using a fully natural cream or buy an actual aloe plant. Cut off a leaf and pop it in your fridge to use as and when you need it. Aloe juice also makes for a delicious and skin-nourishing drink too!

Tip: Watch What You Wear

Just as putting unnatural creams on your or your child’s skin can cause eczema to flare up, so too can having unnatural fabrics rubbing against the skin all day long! Manmade fabrics such as nylon and polyester can irritate the skin, so swap them for all-natural fibres such as cotton, linen or silk.

Be sure to use a non-bio washing powder to wash your clothes too – biological powders contain little enzymes that eat the dirt and which can also irritate sensitive skin and aggravate eczema.

Do you have any other natural tips, tricks or product recommendations to treat and cure eczema? Please share them in the comments below!

Estelle Page is a mother-of-two whose kids both suffered from eczema as babies. She recommends Salcura for anyone suffering from eczema on eyelids, face or other sensitive areas where a mild, gentle treatment is needed.

Martial Arts for Physical Fitness

By Victrory Lean, Thursday, July 18, 2013

You’ve started eating better, made a point to move around more and maybe you even traded in cigarettes for eCigs and now you want to do something to take your fitness level even higher. If you’re considering martial arts, you’re not alone.

Shaolin Kung Fu Martial Arts Martial Arts for Physical FitnessFitness or Defense?

When you start looking for martial arts classes, keep in mind that any martial art you study is going to have some elements that improve your physical fitness and some elements that improve your ability to defend yourself. You don’t need to trade one for the other. Some martial arts, however, are more popular with people studying for self-defense and others are more popular with people studying for physical fitness. What follows is a very simplified breakdown to give you an idea of what to expect from some of the martial arts styles you’ve probably heard of.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is one of the most ancient martial arts and one of the most popular. It can be taught in various ways, but most tai chi classes are low-impact affairs that involve learning how to move in very fluid, controlled and balanced ways. This martial art is excellent for people who want to concentrate on their physical fitness and their sense of inner calm. It does have self-defense applications, but those are typically not emphasized in most tai chi classes.

Jujitsu

There are many different forms of jujitsu. They concentrate on grappling, which takes a great deal of energy. Jujitsu classes tend to have a very strong emphasis on self-defense. It is, in fact, one of the most practical styles to learn if you’re mostly concerned about defending yourself. The workout, however, is extremely intense and tends to build flexibility in ways that other workouts do not. Expect to have some sore muscles until your body adapts to the physical challenges that these styles present.

Thai boxing/kickboxing

For cardiovascular workouts, it’s hard to beat Thai boxing and kickboxing. These styles, just as the name implies, emphasize punching and kicking. Thai boxing is particularly notable for its use of elbows and knees.

Thai boxing and kickboxing classes are very popular with people who like an intense cardiovascular workout. Work with a heavy bag for a few minutes and you’ll see why the people in these classes tend to be in excellent physical condition.

Karate

Karate is the overarching label for many Okinawan and Japanese martial arts. They emphasize empty-handed fighting. Karate classes can be excellent for getting a workout that isn’t quite as intense in a cardiovascular sense as Thai boxing or kickboxing but that offers plenty of opportunities to get your heart pumping and to build muscle.

Filipino Martial Arts

The two most widely known Filipino martial arts are escrima and Arnis. What sets Filipino martial arts apart from most other martial arts that you’ll find available for study is that these martial arts concentrate on weapons. Drilling with sticks and other weapons can turn into a very intense cardiovascular workout that also requires you to maintain your concentration at all times.

If going to a gym and working out on a treadmill, lifting weights and doing other common forms of exercise really doesn’t do it for you and you end up bored and having a hard time motivating yourself, consider taking up a martial arts class. There are many that concentrate solely on physical fitness and in which you will not be required to spar with anyone or engage in any type of competition. You have many different styles out there to choose from – including fencing and boxing, if you’re interested in martial arts from another part of the world – that anybody should be able to find something that they enjoy doing and that can get them into excellent shape.

Photo c/o KevinPoh

How to Choose a Safe Tanning Bed

By thesweetborn, Monday, July 15, 2013

One of the best things you can do to stay in the pink of health is going out and getting enough sunlight. Sun exposure is crucial to optimal health for a number of reasons. For one, it allows your body to produce vitamin D, an essential nutrient that you cannot optimally get from food sources. This is why it is a good idea to go out into the sun for several minutes every day.

But there are people who do not have easy access to sunlight, such as those who live in areas that do not receive sunlight all year round. If you’re one of these people, chances are you may be deficient in vitamin D.

The good news is that safe and effective alternatives are available to help you get enough sunlight. One is by using a safe tanning bed.  tanning How to Choose a Safe Tanning Bed

A tanning bed, also called a sunbed, is a machine that imitates the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and produces an artificial tan. A tanning bed can be either a stand-up or a lie-down model. The use of tanning beds has become so popular today. In the United States alone, there now are at least 20,000 tanning salons.

However, the tanning industry is receiving a lot of flak today, and tanning beds are labeled “health-harming.” The US Senate even imposed a 10 percent tax on tanning services to dissuade people from using them.

Studies have conflicting results on tanning beds’ effects on your health. What you need to remember is that these studies evaluated different types of tanning beds, which have different intensities and UVA to UVB ratios.

To ensure that your tanning bed is safe to use, make sure it produces more UVB rays than UVAs. UVA rays are more harmful than UVBs, as they can penetrate your skin deeper, leading to more negative effects on your health. UVB rays are the type that allows your skin to convert cholesterol into vitamin D.

You must also make sure to check the type of ballast, the part of the machine that generates light, used in your tanning bed. Tanning beds that use magnetic ballasts subject you to excessive electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure, which has many harmful side effects on your health. One indication that your tanning bed uses magnetic ballasts is if the machine produces a loud buzzing noise. Find and use a tanning bed that uses electronic ballasts.

Also, avoid using the tanning bed for long periods of time. Your skin should only turn the slightest shade of pink. Beware of excessive tanning, which may cause not only sunburn, but also far more damaging long-term effects on your health.

Laila Sanders is researching alternative techniques to get enough vitamin D, and believes that aside from taking a vitamin D supplement, using a safe tanning bed is one of the best options available today. Aside from writing health articles, she also reads online resources for natural health tips, such as the website of Dr. Joseph Mercola.