While you might hear the word "hygiene" and immediately think of washing your hands, the term actually refers to any practice that preserves a sense of health and well-being (Recent Enterprise case - outbreak of Listeriosis. As far as total-body hygiene goes, exercise is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy, as long as you get in the habit of cleanliness and paying attention.
Some people find that exercising actually helps improve their skin, thanks to sweat and proper hydration, but a smart post-exercise routine is crucial. After all, sweat can lead to greasy hair and, sometimes, acne breakouts. Soon after you exercise, ditch your workout clothes and get cleaned up with a shower. Doing so can limit trapped bacteria and ensure you get the best benefits from your workout.
If you exercise at a gym, it should affect the way you interact with other patrons and machines. Because machines are used by a community, it's important that you wipe down machines before and after you use them -- this will help reduce the spread of germs. If you're taking advantage of the gym shower and sauna facilities, always wear shower shoes (flip flops). Gym floors harbor bacteria that could lead to fungal infections. Then, make sure you sanitize your hands as you leave the facilities. If you use your own machines, it's still a good idea to wipe them down with an antibacterial solution every few weeks to keep them clean.
Exercise is an excellent way to combat sleep disorders. Exercising can help you get to sleep easier, particularly when you exercise late in the afternoon. While it's never been proven scientifically, some complain that evening exercise can be too energizing and actually make it harder to fall asleep. You can experiment with different times of day and see which routine is most likely to help you get to sleep at night. To sleep better, try the following:
Your mental health is one of the most important factors in your overall well-being, and exercise can help you maintain excellent mental health. Remember, exercise is responsible for the release of mood-boosting endorphins that can help battle stress and increase feelings of wellness. Doctors often point out that exercise is often an important component of treatment plans for both anxiety and depression.
The stigma of obesity and the related discrimination against overweight people is very real. Research has shown that obese people experience discrimination in employment, education, health care settings and personal relationships. It seems that the stigma and discrimination faced by these overweight people may be causing more problems than the actual excess weight does.
Many people with weight concerns also have a critical attitude towards themselves. Harsh self criticism, however, usually leads to yo-yo dieting rather than lasting weight loss.
The TRUTH and REALITY is that health looks different on different bodies, so focus on YOU.
With that in mind, here are 6 Points that I hope will help you on your journey toward a healthy relationship with your body and food.
Overall, weight only weakly predicts longevity, it is only one of many health indicators. Quality of diet, stress levels, fitness levels and many other factors also influence longevity. Stressing about weight can do more harm than good, so find ways to reduce stress in your life and do things that you enjoy and that build you up. Get into an activity that you enjoy (Music or Dance class).
Instead of focusing on weight, figure out your own personal goals for health.
How would you like to feel? What would you like to be able to do? What does health mean for you? Your goals may be entirely different from someone else's. Address sleep, fitness, a nourishing and healthy diet, self-esteem, stress reduction, etc. Make your goals SMART: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Weighing in can lead to an unhealthy obsession with numbers and can detract from the pleasures and non-weight related rewards of changing your lifestyle. Instead of weighing yourself, work on self-acceptance and positive self-image…after all you are stuck in that BODY!!!!
Develop a long-term, sustainable healthy lifestyle and way of eating. Eat REAL food and ALWAYS a reasonable quantity. DIETS seldom work!!!!
The next time you find yourself in a cycle of negative self-talk, imagine that you're actually saying these things to your best friend. Change your perspective and realize that the things you think are OK to say to yourself would never be acceptable in conversation with someone else. Why should talking to yourself be any different than talking to a friend?
Don't contribute to the stigma of weight by saying things that are negative and critical ESPECIALLY about yourself. Positive reinforcement and attitude work better than punishment when making changes that will stick.
Don't let weight concerns isolate you. Get plugged into your community and get support in your pursuit of health. Also REMEMBER that YOU are NOT your weight, there’s more to you than that - you have a lot to offer.
FACT: Partners influence each other’s exercise habit, for better and worse.
Now, if your goal is to get your special someone involved in your healthy lifestyle choices it’s time to employ a tactic that will actually get them pumped up. Try the following ideas that may get them running, lifting or cycling with you side by side.
Money is a big deal in any relationship, how you spend it matters. So mention that the gym, running, cycling club you want to join offers huge deals if you join with a partner. Who doesn’t want a good deal? Throw in the other gym facilities like massages, steam room, big screen to watch football…make it attractive.
Do something active together that’s fun so it doesn’t seem like exercise. Go hiking, play tennis, go swimming or plan a weekend surfing trip. Try to do a fun physical activity together that also takes you out of your comfort zone at least once a week. Make it a point that you compliment/ encourage your partner during the activity.
We all like fancy gadgets? Surprise your loved one with a Sports watch that does all kind of things (measure steps, heart rate, distance, calories…), you’ll be surprised at how hooked they become as they start to notice progress and good results. Nothing wrong with a subscription to a health magazine or golf or tennis lessons. The gift of Health is the best gift of all.
Truth is one can preach all health concerns till you’re blue in the face but when a statement like "your high blood pressure and extra weight are putting you at risk for an early death” comes from a trusted doctor, it’s a much more effective kick in the butt. So if it comes to this, do it!!!!
Telling your loved one about your unending love and wanting to live a long life together is sure to be emotional for you both and is bound to inspire a jump on the healthy boat. Use this as a last resort.
Dubbed the “energy vitamin,” it promotes healthy nerve function, plays a major role in the production of DNA, and helps to keep your body filled with the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body.
However, this critical vitamin is only available in food and supplements. Meats, dairy, and fortified grains are among the best surces, so, if you're vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, you may be unknowingly upping your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
One of the early vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms includes tiredness. That's because, when your supply of B12 runs low, your body isn’t able to produce the red blood cells needed to deliver oxygen throughout your body. The result? Anemia.
This can cause you to feel unusually weak and run-down. Trouble is, tiredness is such a vague, general symptom that could easily be attributed to other causes (stress, lack of sleep). If the fatigue keeps getting worse and you can’t pinpoint an obvious cause, visit your doctor.
Running from your brain and along your spinal cord all the way to your hands and feet, there's a long nerve tract called the posterior tract, which is coated in a fatty white substance known as myelin. Myelin not only insulates and protects the nerves, but it also speeds up the nerve impulses, making it possible for your hands and feet to sense.
Thing is, you need B12 in order to produce myelin. So, when you run low on this essential vitamin, your myelin breaks down and nerve impulses can’t travel as fast. The result? Tingling sensations in your hands and feet
Unless you’re wearing sky-high stiletto shoes, falling or teetering around is definitely not normal. If you often lose your balance, make an appointment for a blood test. A breakdown of myelin in your posterior tract can cause you to lose your sense of touch, it can also affect your proprioception, or your sense of where you are in space. Proprioception is key for your balance.
Sure, occasionally misplacing your phone or blanking on a co-worker’s name is no big deal, but if you find you’re increasingly off your game, take it seriously and get yourself tested. If you don't, your vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can mimic dementia in just a year’s time.
That protective white substance known as myelin coats the nerve cells in your brain, which can leave you feeling more forgetful than usual if it deteriorates.
Feeling unusually down lately? If there are no obvious reasons why (think: bad breakup, fewer daylight hours, family drama) then low B12 levels may be to blame. One thought as to why this occurs is that B12 plays a key role in brain function and myelin production - so your body might be needing more Vitamin B12.
NB: Be attentive to your body, it will help you identify any symptoms early thus preventing major illnesses.
Question: Do you ever think about your breathing when you workout?
You actually need to think about it and control your breath during your workout for peak performance. And when it comes to breathing, one method does not fit all workouts. So I’ve picked 5 workouts to focus on:
Inhale on the less strenuous phase of the exercise, and exhale on the more demanding phase of the exercise. Upon LIFTING inhale, DROP exhale.
If you're hitting heavy weights, you inhale on the easy part, hold you breath for just a short second as you approach the hardest part of the exercise (commonly called the "sticking point"), and once you've completed it, you exhale per usual. The maneuver helps you tighten your core muscles and maintain proper form. However, it does briefly increase blood pressure. So if you have any cardiovascular problems, the move isn't for you.
Continuous breathing will help you to increase nitric oxide, an important gas that relaxes the arteries and keeps the blood flow that you need to sustain your rhythmic activity. Establish a pace and then match it with your breathing. If you can talk without huffing and puffing while running then your pace and breathing is good.
While it takes some serious concentration at first, apparently the greatest running impact occurs when your foot strike coincides with the beginning of your exhale. So by keeping a 3:2 breath tempo, you'll minimize your chance of injury.
Stretching is all about loosening up—so focus on inhaling deeply. It relaxes your muscles so you can get a better stretch and lower your risk of pulling anything. Just like stretching breathing exercises are important after a workout as they help regulate your heart and your body after putting it under some strain.
Ever finished a set of squats, thought "that wasn't so bad," and then started huffing and puffing? That's because your body needs oxygen to replete its energy stores. So in between sets of exercises, do breathing exercises.
Diaphragmatic breathing is what most recommend, it allows you to get more oxygen into your lungs—and to your muscles—per breath so you can hit your next exercise hard. To do it, focus on filling and emptying your abdomen with each breath rather than raising and lowering your chest
Exercising in hot weather increases our body temperature. Sure, our bodies have built-in cooling systems that help us adjust to heat. That’s why we perspire. But this natural cooling system can fail if we’re exposed to soaring temperatures for too long. The result may be heat exhaustion – that awful fatigue that makes you feel as if one more step could be your last – and even heat stroke.
Here are some tips to keep you on track:
Working out in hot weather isn’t easy, so don’t sabotage you fitness goals with calorie-dense sports drinks or juices. Water is usually your best option for hydration.
Another great way to help re-hydrate during a break in physical activity is to eat a piece of fruit, such as an apple or orange, or even carrots or celery sticks. Fruits or veggies will also help replace valuable electrolyte loss.
How do you know if you're drinking enough water?
A good way to know that you’re hydrating properly is by checking the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow (think lemonade), you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker (heading toward the color of apple juice), drink more.
It also helps to listen to your body
Start your routine by taking it easy at first. Just accept the fact that you can’t do what you normally do.
Whatever your Fitness/ Exercise routine, as your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the pace and length of your workout. If you have a medical condition and/or take prescription medications, do ask your physician if you need to take any additional precautions.
***Difficult one for those taking part in Endurance Sport***
For day-to-day training, rise early to catch the cool of the morning, or go out at sunset or later. In the heat of midday, take cover under shade if you can jump into a pool whether to cool down or for a workout in water.
Dark colors absorb the heat, which can make you feel as if you’re wrapped in a warm blanket. Heavyweight, tight-fitting clothing will also heat you up. Keep it loose. Keep it light. More air will be able to circulate over your skin, keeping you cool.
Pick juicy snacks like fruit. The last thing you need in scorching heat are dry snacks like crackers, popcorn, or energy bars that require your body to add water. Plus, dry snacks are often dense with calories.
No doubt, the thought of not finishing your workout is not a good one BUT it may kill you if you try - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
If you’re feeling any of the following, find shelter or air-conditioned comfort fast.
Remember that even a 20-minute workout has positive health effects. It’s the number of days you exercise that matters most. Frequency of days far outweighs the amount of time of any given exercise session.
Finally, if it’s just too hot, stay indoors and do your resistance training!!!!!!
***Low fat diet = Old school, get some healthy fat into your diet
If you follow these tips and then follow a good exercise regime you will loss fat and reach your goals.
Keep to a programme that fits into your daily/weekly life - one you can maintain.
What you wear underneath your clothes is just as (if not more) important than the clothes themselves. Wearing the wrong undergarment can ruin your outfit and make you extremely uncomfortable...believe me I know - been there! It is sad to see that many women (all shapes and sizes) continue to make bra mistakes every day.
According to a recent study done by Swiss lingerie company, a startling number of women are choosing their bras incorrectly. The international survey of 10,000 women found that 64 percent are wearing the wrong size bra. Out of that 64 percent, 29 percent know they are wearing the wrong size...Yep!!! What's worse is that those women are admittedly unhappy about it.
So why do some many women still get dressed every morning with the knowledge they are wearing an ill-fitting bra?
Well...Cost, for one. A good bra can leave a serious dent in your wallet, and since we're not supposed to wear the same one every day, they can become a large expense. NewsFlash...it's a necessary expense!!! Secondly, it's the heartbreaking truth I discovered recently. Most of us (in SA) think the smallest back bra size is a 32...NOT. I got a rude awakening recently while shopping for a Sports Bra. All my life I thought I was a 32D but after a professional fitting it turned out I'm a 28F...the shock!!!!! SA retailers you have failed us!!!!
There is no doubt, wearing a quality good fitting bra leaves you feeling great and can save you from spending an enormous amount of money later. Added to this, settling for a cheaper ill fitting bra compromises your health and day to day way of life.
I've attached visuals below so illustrate my point and to show you what an ill fitting bra looks like. Compare these visuals to how the bra you are wearing right now fits, be honest and make the necessary choice...go for a professional Bra fitting and invest in a Good Quality Bra(s) - it's NOT a LUXURY but a NECESSITY!!!!
Phindi is no stranger to South African media. She started her Radio career at Metro FM as a newsreader. Her Radio experience includes hosting various shows at a Community Radio Station (Voice of Soweto), hosting a prime-time show at Gauteng’s biggest Radio Station (YFM), managing a Retail Radio Station (Score Super Markets) and hosting various shows at East Coast Radio and Gagasi FM. Given her academic achievements (Chemical Engineering, Journalism and IMM Diplomas), Phindi never limited herself to radio. She has spent some time in the corporate sector. She worked at South African Airways as an Analyst Programmer, a Sales Executive at Autotrader and a Marketing Manager at Old Mutual. Continue reading