A Look at the Health Benefits of Swimming

Exercise is one of the key ingredients to leading a healthy life. In addition to eating healthier and more sensible foods, regularly visiting your doctor even when you are not sick for a routine physical and medical checkup, and managing your daily stresses, engaging in physical exercise can further enhance the health benefits of these activities. Unfortunately, when people think about physical exercise, they always think about the gym, pumping iron, running the treadmill or the stationary bike, or even doing some stretches. They forget that biking, swimming, and running can be as equally beneficial as doing exercises in the gym. In fact, experts agree that the many health benefits of swimming is already equivalent to several gym-based exercises.

Here’s why.

Swimming Helps Improve Oxygen Delivery

One of the many health benefits of swimming is in its ability to help enhance the delivery of oxygen to the different tissues of the body. Because the four limbs of the body are constantly moving and you have to regulate your breathing as well, swimming is one of the best forms of aerobic exercises. The constant limb action of trying to stay afloat and moving your body seamlessly in the water keeps your heart rate up without necessarily reaching an erratic and abnormal pace. An increased heart rate means your heart is pumping more blood and delivering more oxygen to the different tissues of the body. This also helps facilitate the removal of carbon dioxide and other by-products of cellular metabolic processes. The steady, healthy, increase in heart rate can help stimulate the heart to grow its muscle fibers. This improves overall cardiac functioning and efficiency. Over time, the heart no longer has to increase its rate of pumping because the strength of its contraction is already enough to deliver the much-needed oxygen. This is why athletes usually have slower heart rates than normal yet they are still able to meet their metabolic requirements.

Swimming Helps Improve Bone and Joint Health

Performing aerobic exercises in the gym is different from swimming as a form of aerobic exercise. Because of the buoyant force of water, the impact of the surface radiating across the entire length and width of the body is eliminated. The downward force exerted by your weight on the gym floor is also reduced. Technically, the buoyant force of the water is what is lifting your body. You feel much less weight in the water than you are on land. For example, studies show that if you are submerged up to your waist, your body is actually only supporting 50 percent of its own weight. Immerse your body some more up to the chest and your body is only supporting 25 to 35 percent of its own weight. Try immersing your body up to your neck and 90 percent of your body weight is actually being supported by the buoyant force of the water. This means you will feel 90 percent lighter. Because you are lighter, the impact on your bones and joints can be instantly felt. And with warm water, you can further loosen those stiff joints. This can greatly reduce the pain among people with arthritis and other bone and joint problems.

Swimming Helps Strengthen and Tone Muscles

Swimming requires you to propel yourself in the water against resistance. For every cubic inch that your body occupies, this is the same volume of water that you have to work against. In order for you to move from one end of the pool to the other, you need to stretch those muscles and work them against this resistance. It may not be as intense as pumping iron doing all those heavy weightlifting sessions but those are primarily intended for building muscles. Swimming strengthens the muscles making it more toned and in a constant state of partial contraction. This makes it very ready and very efficient. Swimming is an excellent form of resistance exercise

Swimming Helps Develop Flexibility

As a healthy person you would want to be able to move freely. And this means be able to use your joints in their full range of motion. Unlike gym-based exercises where only certain joints are worked at a time, swimming works every joint in your body to improve overall joint mobility and range of motion. This greatly helps in developing flexibility and agility.

Swimming can Aid in Weight Loss Efforts

Did you know that for every 10 minutes that you swim breaststroke you can actually burn as much as 60 calories? For backstroke, it’s 80 calories; freestyle, 100 calories; and butterfly stroke, 150 calories. Now if you are going to increase the intensity of your swimming, you can actually drive the rate of energy expenditure a lot faster. Coupled with sensible dietary habits, and you could be well on your way to a more fit body.

There are other health benefits of swimming. These benefits are all tied to its being an excellent aerobic exercise. So, if you want to lead a healthier life with less impact on your bones and joints, then swimming is an excellent choice.

Dealing with Pregnancy Pains through Physiotherapy

There are a lot of changes in the body before, during, and after pregnancy. It’s not only the hormones that change but it’s also the body parts themselves. These body changes can come as a shock to you or you might barely feel them at all, but it is best to be prepared for whatever that can happen during the whole cycle of your pregnancy.

When a friend of mine got pregnant, she noticed that there were a lot of times that she experienced pain in her lower back. I told her that this was because her body is not used to the extra weight she is carrying and that her center of gravity is shifting. If before it used to be only in a straight line, now that her tummy is bulging her posture somewhat curves to the back to balance the weight in the uterus. There are other changes in the body that she experienced and some are muscle cramps or tightenings, pelvic pain, and of course, stress. Although stress cannot be fully treated since it is a natural reaction of the body, the pain she felt on her lower back and pelvic area was treated with the use of physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy is also called physical therapy and it is mainly associated with exercises and massages to heal muscle pains and injuries. This can also be applied to pregnancy because pregnant women also experience these things just in a different way. Going back, what my friend did was to search for clinics that are experts at pregnancy physiotherapy. She then searched Capital Physiotherapy since it turned out that Capital Physiotherapy was one of the more famous clinics in this field.

The clinic had a number of services and some of them include: prenatal and postnatal wellness, postural corrections and massages. When my friend got to the clinic, they assessed her before recommending a pregnancy physiotherapy session. As she was experiencing back and muscle pain, she was recommended general physiotherapy sessions. There was also a brief check-up to further diagnose her condition.

So my friend was describing what happened during her physiotherapy sessions. What usually occurred was a physical therapist asks which part of her body was aching and if there weren’t any she was given exercises to prevent further pains. She claims that preventive measures on bodily changes were helpful since her body was able to adjust even before her baby got heavier and she, in turn, felt more at ease than uncomfortable.

Aside from exercises that helped her body adjust with the added weight and the change in center of gravity, her physical therapist also gave massages at times to loosen up her muscles. She claims that when a woman is pregnant, there is a tendency that the hormone relaxin is produced. Relaxin occurs naturally to women during pregnancy because this helps ligaments loosen up a little bit to make them more flexible to accommodate the baby.

Another aspect of physiotherapy was posture correction. I mentioned earlier that when my friend got pregnant, her center of gravity changed. It no longer was in a straight line and since the weight is in her stomach area, her back had to bend a little bit back to counter this change. Because of this, further back pains are caused and her posture was potentially at risk to be like that even after pregnancy. To prevent this, pregnancy physiotherapy was necessary to make changes in the posture that will not lead to anymore back or pelvic pains.

If you are experiencing the same thing or are worried that these pains might happen to you (more often than not that it will) it is best to consult a physiotherapy clinic immediately to prevent any further discomfort during your pregnancy.

Tips to Preparing for Your First Drum Lessons or Any Music Lesson

There are many among us who love to listen to music. I know I do. It’s one of those things that many of us simply cannot do without. But did you know that taking up music lessons such as drum lessons for beginners and experts or any other musical instrument is actually a lot better than listening to music alone? True, listening to music has a lot of health benefits. But, actually playing a musical instrument to create melodies and rhythms further improves these health benefits. And I’ve seen first-hand just how much playing music can improve a lot of our selves, especially playing drums. If you would also like to start benefiting from playing the drums, then you may want to really prepare for it. If you’re nervous because it’s your first time, don’t worry because I’m going to share with you how to prepare for drum lessons to make it very interesting and enjoyable for you.

Always come with questions as well as new materials.

I found out that teachers prefer students who don’t have the experience or may lack the necessary knowledge about the things they are supposed to be learning. I find it rather amusing since the mere fact that you are going to take up drum lessons, then we should assume that we know nothing, right? Why on earth would you want to take up lessons when you already know what you’re doing? The implication is for you to ask your teacher about a lot of things. You are not there just to stand and listen to your teacher’s instructions. The important thing to understand is that you should always ask your teacher about things. Don’t worry if you sound stupid but you are simply accepting the fact that you know nothing about this activity, which is why you are asking questions. And teachers like students who ask. It goes without saying that we must be pretty familiar with our own skills. We must be ready to accept our own shortcomings and be able to talk to our teacher about this so he’ll know what to do. For instance, if you clearly don’t know how to hold the drum sticks properly, then we could talk to our teacher about this. If there’s one particular song we would like to learn, we can also talk to our teacher about this. The point is, if we are willing to learn, then we must be willing to ask questions that will help us learn.

Ask your teacher for homework.

If you really want to prepare for your drum lessons, do it proactively. This simply means, even before you start with your actual lessons, then you need to ask your teacher about homework assignments before the actual lessons can begin. For instance, you can ask about any specific book that you may need to buy or even techniques that you have to practice first before your first drum lessons. You can also ask about YouTube videos or any other online content that the teacher often uses in his lessons or even to help students better prepare for their drum lessons. You can write any of your teacher’s instructions, tips, materials, tricks, page numbers, and even song links which may come in handy when practising. If your teacher recommends some practice materials for you, make sure to perform them before moving on to the next difficulty level of difficulty.

Commit to your daily schedule.

The key to learning is commitment, whether it is drum lessons or even academics. Most drummers I know practise at least 20 minutes every single day even before they head to the music studio. This is a lot better than warming up for one hour before the actual drum lessons. This simply means committing 20 minutes of your daily schedule just for practising. Say, if you have committed to practise every 8 in the evening, then make sure to stick to this schedule. If you watched a YouTube video on drumming, then devote 10 minutes for that so you’ll be extending your practise sessions to 30 minutes. Understand than when we say 30-minute practise sessions, it’s the actual 30 minutes playing your drums and not 10 minutes preparing, 10 minutes playing, and 10 minutes resting while on your drum set.

Get ready with your materials.

It is critical to organise your drum materials at home so you’ll be ready anytime. From your drum set to the supplies that you’ll need to practise, it’s advisable to have them organised in just one place. This also means that if you have to take your drum lessons paraphernalia with you every time you attend your lessons, make sure to put them back in their respective places upon returning home.

Drumming can bring you a lot of benefits. Trust me, I know. And to help you prepare for your drum lessons, just remember these tips I shared with you and you’d be drumming your way to a better you.

Training for the First Marathon

The decision to go for the first marathon is exciting but can also be daunting. For most, getting to this point requires a lot of consideration, because it will take a lot of time and effort to be ready. A marathon is not something that one just resolves to do a week before the run, even if he/she is already fit. The way to a successful performance is to train properly, aiming for longer runs or intensifying the workout slowly to build strength and endurance. More than just preparing the body, the mental state is just as important before and during the run. Maintaining motivation and focus will be vital to stick to the training schedule and to simply keep going.

Many things are also considered as part of marathon preparation. These include proper nutrition, enough sleep, and even the right equipment. Getting a full medical check-up is also vital before the start of training will make sure that you are healthy enough for the training and the full marathon as well.

Here are also some general things to have in mind when preparing for the marathon:

  1. Listen To Your Body

For beginners, doing a marathon is already pushing the body enough. The training will also be tough, so make sure that you take great care to avoid ending up with an injury. If, while running, it doesn’t feel right or that it is too much for your body, take a break or get advice from a specialist. Once you get injured, you will be back to square one and you will need time to get back. After a workout, change into dry clothes and make sure you are always hydrated. Getting sick is also not fun or good when you have a running schedule to follow.

  1. Do Not Overtrain

When you start early enough, you have enough time to train slowly, increasing in intensity every week. Doing too much will put you at risk for injury and you might get too tired and lose motivation. Moreover, your body needs time to build strength and endurance, so do not force it. You will find yourself being able to run further as the weeks pass.

  1. Enjoy The Run

Whatever your reason is for doing a marathon, make sure that you are also having fun while doing so. This is very important to keep your motivation and will make all this time spent on training enjoyable as well.

  1. Invest In Good Equipment

You will be running a very long distance during your marathon, so you need shoes that can withstand all this strain. This is also important to keep yourself safe from getting injured. You can also have 2 pairs of running shoes during this time that you can alternate to avoid overuse. Make sure that you also replace them in time, after 500 miles or so. Breaking in the shoes before the marathon is also very important.

  1. Make A Good Plan

Giving yourself enough time to train will allow you to develop a good schedule and an easy progression until the date of the marathon. If you are a beginner, make sure you have even more time. Target around 2 to 3 runs weekly. You can also work with a trainer to help you design a good plan, or simply follow existing training models out there.

  1. Try Cross-Training

Cross-training can be a good addition to mix up your routine and help build up your body for the marathon. Try swimming, deep-water running or even cycling so you can improve deep breathing, develop running muscles, strengthen your cardiovascular system, or increase aerobic endurance.

  1. Run On The Treadmill At Home

Using that treadmill at home or at the gym will help you keep to your training schedule even when the weather is not great for outside running. Moreover, there are ways to vary the run through setting the incline or pace to make it more difficult and build resistance.

  1. Nutrition and Hydration

Your body should be supported by the right nutrition and enough water to have energy and fuel while working out. Your diet should have the right carbohydrates (like muesli or oatmeal) and good fats (omega-3s found in salmon and fish oil), accompanied by lots of water. A good breakfast in the mornings after training will help your body recover too.

  1. Sleep

Remember, when you are doing long runs, you are putting your body under immense strain and pressure. Your body will need enough time to recover afterward, so sometimes even 8 hours of sleep are not enough.

  1. Gain Support

Having the support of family and friends will help sustain you when your body is so tired and you just want to give up. They can either go running with you to keep you company or simply keep tabs during your training. Seeing them at the end of the finish line will also be great, and you can definitely share your achievement with them!

5 Reasons Why You Should Go To Meditation Class

Meditation was once upon a time reserved for Buddhist monks. However, it is not really limited to a specific religion or spiritual belief which is why slowly, it became more mainstream. Nowadays, ordinary people like you and me are able to discover and enjoy its many benefits.

I have, of course, heard of meditation before, but I didn’t really find a reason before to actually try it. Good friends of mine have begun to go regularly, though, and have invited me to join them on a relaxing meditation class in Bendigo. According to them, I could change my life by incorporating this into my routine.

In order to convince me, they gave me five simple reasons why I should try it out:

1. Your health will improve

Although this is not some exercise or diet, meditation could still contribute to better health, as proven by research. Practitioners lower their blood pressure and decrease their risk of heart disease and stroke. Other studies have also shown that chronic pain is lessened, as well as levels of stress in cancer sufferers. Those with fibromyalgia see reduced symptoms too.

Moreover, cortisol levels went down when one regularly goes for sessions. High levels of this hormone can actually make the immune system weaker and slow down the body’s natural healing process. Lastly, there have been studies that hinted that meditation can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

2. You can sleep better

By doing a 30-minute session can already help you sleep deeper, making you feel more refreshed and energized even if you had fewer hours of slumber. Additionally, those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might find relief in meditation.

You might also start to have more vivid dreams, and remember them better upon waking up.

3. You will feel less stressed.

There are many reasons why people try out meditation. One of the most popular reasons is to learn to detach from the stresses of life. Nowadays, with the constant stream of information, negative energy is all around. Moreover, smartphones mean that you never really leave work, increasing the pressure and blurring that line between personal time and work.

Not only is meditation well-known as a means to reduce stress, this is also backed up by research as being advantageous to all age groups. New research by Stanford University and UCLA explores how meditation and mindfulness techniques can help children reduce stress and anger. Even teenagers have been proven to see improvements in mood disorders and depression.

Practitioners report that not only do they feel more relaxed, but they are also able to handle themselves better in tense situations that would previously rattle them. They feel more aware of themselves as well, resulting in a sense of calm and wellbeing. This self-awareness can help you identify whatever negative patterns you have in your life and introduce a more positive one, further reducing stress and anxiety.

4. You can concentrate better

By learning to tune out external stimuli, you are actually improving your concentration. At the same time, you become more aware and able to keep focus much longer than before. In fact, researchers at Harvard Medical School have seen changes in the brain structure, specifically in areas linked to attention and processing of sensory input. Other research also showed increased ability in staying focused on tasks, faster reaction, and better psychomotor response.

Research at the University of Wisconsin has recently suggested that beyond improved attention, meditation changes how the body allocates mental resources.

5. You become more creative

Surprisingly, meditation triggers parts of the brain associated with creativity. There are ways of meditating that promote a synchronized left and right hemisphere of the brain. This is commonly seen as well in moments of inspiration or while doing something creative. In Taiwan, where a study was conducted to identify effects on creativity, IQ, attention and anxiety, researchers have found that creativity has seen the most improvement.

With such advantages, it was very difficult for me to decline their invitation. This is also because I have personally seen my friends enjoy these benefits themselves. From being a group of friends who struggled with life’s day-to-day struggles and lacked the energy except to complain, I could see them looking and feeling lighter.

I was encouraged and have decided to join them. For me, meditation is a form of mental exercise. In the same way I went to the gym to work out my body, I would go to these sessions to have better control of my emotions and be aware of certain thoughts and feelings that come up regularly. By learning how to let go of these and concentrate on stilling my mind, I started to find my peace. In fact, beyond these 5 benefits stated, the greatest one has to be this feeling of freedom from the heaviness and negativity that seems to be normal these days. Instead, I have a better place to go, all thanks to meditation.

Rehabilitation from Injury through Physiotherapy

When you experience a traumatic accident, you face a long and difficult road to recovery. From experience, I know how painful it can be and that rehabilitation is the most challenging part of it.

Right after my accident, I was still under so much soreness. However, I did not want to simply rely on pain relief medicines. Not only is it unhealthy, these medications can be addicting as well. I was determined to find another way to recover, so I began to ask my doctor for recommendations.

To help me, he recommended me to Russell Thompson, a physiotherapist from Wyndham Rehab in Werribee, explaining how his expertise can help me rehabilitate from my injury. Grateful to have found a better way than medication, I made an appointment immediately.

In my first visit, the physiotherapist interviewed me about my injury and my current symptoms. He then proceeded to explain the treatments that they use as part of rehabilitation:

1. McKenzie Spinal Management

This method is actually a full process from assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal problems. To treat these conditions, the McKenzie Method uses the body’s ability to repair itself without the use of any medication, cold, heat, needles or even surgery. Through exercise based on their principles, patients can manage their own symptoms and achieve full recovery.

2. Dry Needling

Also known as intramuscular stimulation (IMS), dry needling is a technique for relaxing muscles that have become overactive. These muscles contain trigger points. With the use of needles like in acupuncture, the physiotherapist will target these points, activating them without the use of any substance or medication.

3. Pilates

Clinical Pilates uses a variety of exercises to train core muscles through body movements. These muscles are important to make your spine stable when you move. Retraining them is a very important part of rehabilitation because it reduces the chances of future injuries as well.

4. Joint Mobilization/Manipulation

Injuries can lead to joint stiffness or locked joints, and you can experience a lot of pain when you try to move them. Therefore, mobilization techniques are necessary to achieve normal joint motion without aches. An experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist can help make this happen. In comparison to older methods, they use much gentler ways that do not cause any more throbbing. They will also make sure to avoid overstretching because this will cause instability or hypermobility.

5. Manual Handling Training

Sometimes we do not realize how wrong lifting practices can really hurt us. This can bring a lot of pain or even cause damage to our backs and other parts of the body. If you have undergone an injury, you can severely worsen it by not learning better manual handling techniques. Your physiotherapist can guide you on how you can handle heavy equipment.

6. Spine Function Restoration Program

This is a program where there physical training is integrated into your daily activities (including work and leisure), supported by individual case management, as well as psychological counseling. Lectures on related topics like anatomy, pain and others are also done to educate patients on pain management and how to develop coping skills.

7. Sports Taping

Also known as kinesiology taping, this method includes the application of stretchy, therapeutic tape on areas that have been injured or have experienced swelling. First of all, this can help relieve any pain that the patient is experiencing through relieving pressure on the area. Secondly, swelling can be greatly reduced by providing negative pressure. This allows the lymphatic drainage channels to be able to drain the swelling away from the injured area. Third, the tape provides support to muscles that have undergone damage.

8. Sports and Therapeutic Massage

This kind of massage is more aggressive than ordinary ones, using different modalities like remedial massage and deep tissue work. They can also utilize trigger point therapy and cross fiber techniques. The goal is to help patients get back to full mobility as quickly as possible.

9. Spinal Strengthening and Stabilization

Injuries can cause our spine to become destabilized. This can cause a lot of pain. Spinal strengthening and stabilization exercises target weak muscles in the spine. These can include mobility exercises for stiff muscles, strengthening movements for loose ones, and postural training to enable normal movement. Your physiotherapist will design the training based on your injury.

In fact, your clinic has quite a few methods to help you recover and get back to full health and mobility. If needed, even home care is available. They work with doctors in order to achieve the patient’s goals, bringing with them their expertise in human anatomy and exercise. This way, they ensure proper healing of injured areas and making them stronger than ever before, so that future damage can be avoided.

As I have personally experienced, their care and expertise have helped me in my rehabilitation without needing medication. After all, my goal is not to just avoid pain, but to be, like Wyndham Physio and Rehabilitation’s mission, “active through life.”

Pregnancy Acupuncture – Exploring the Benefits

One of the most important milestones in any woman’s life is being able to conceive a child and bring him or her into this world. For many pregnant women, it is one of the most difficult challenges they will ever face because they will be confronted with a lot of physiologic changes as well as mental health issues related to the pregnancy. There will be changes in the way they look at themselves especially when their tummies already start sticking out from their bodies. And while many pregnant women relish these changes, some find it a little bit inconvenient. The different symptoms associated with pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting, sleeping difficulties, lower back pain, and even depression are sometimes enough for women to consider not getting pregnant again. As such it is important to be able to manage these symptoms of pregnancy to make the whole experience more pleasant.

Personally, I don’t recommend popping a pill to relieve a really bad headache or manage the morning sickness that you get. This is especially true in the first 3 months of pregnancy as the different organs of our babies are being formed inside our wombs. If we introduce chemicals of any form by this time, there is a very strong chance that these molecules will adversely affect the growth and development of the baby inside the womb. You may see your baby as being normal on ultrasound but he may already have a congenital defect lurking inside.

When I got pregnant I visited a Melbourne clinic that specialised in pregnancy acupuncture. This is basically acupuncture for pregnant women. As there is fertility acupuncture designed to help women improve their chances of getting pregnant, pregnancy acupuncture is more aimed at helping women retain their pregnancy, see them through delivery, and manage the different symptoms associated with the physiologic and psychological changes of pregnancy.

If you are already familiar with acupuncture then you already know that the idea is to stimulate certain points in the body, using very fine and highly sterile acupuncture needles, which correspond to the body organs that need to be helped. While Traditional Chinese Medicine explains acupuncture as the reestablishment of a balance in the flow of chi – the life energy within and around us – modern medicine has a more logical explanation to it. The needle point insertion stimulates the nerve endings which, in turn, send electrical signals to the brain. These electrical signals are interpreted and processed by the brain to elicit a particular response primarily the release of natural endorphins as well as other neurotransmitters.

It is this release of neural substances that is helping pregnant women get through the many symptoms associated with pregnancy. Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, and other discomforts associated with pregnancy are effectively managed by the release of natural opioid-like substances in the brain. These natural brain chemicals block the transmission of pain impulses so that you will not have to feel the pain anymore. This works like getting morphine for very severe pain. The good news is that, you get the maximum analgesic benefit without the side effects and the danger of addiction.

Pregnancy acupuncture also works in the management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, more popularly known as morning sickness. Nausea and vomiting is caused by an elevation in the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin especially in the first 2 months of pregnancy. This is needed to make sure that your pregnancy will reach full viability. Without the HCG, it will be quite impossible to progress with the pregnancy. There are medications used for morning sickness. However, since this occurs in the first trimester, it is generally considered a big no. Acupuncture performed on the wrist has been shown to mitigate the nausea and vomiting experienced by pregnant women.

One out of 4 pregnant women become depressed at some point. Luckily for me, I don’t have to worry about that. But for a quarter of the pregnant population, getting depressed during pregnancy can be devastating. This can also have a negative effect on their babies. Acupuncture can help release the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain to help improve overall mood. These neurotransmitters are known to provide a general sense of well-being so you will feel a lot better about yourself.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of acupuncture in pregnancy is its ability to improve tissue oxygenation and nutrition to the uterus and the placenta. The placenta is essentially the lifeline of the foetus and which is attached to the wall of the uterus. Oxygen and nutrients from the mother are delivered to the placenta which delivers them to the foetus via the umbilical vein. The foetus uses the oxygen and nutrients to grow and, in exchange, sends metabolic by-products to the placenta via 2 umbilical arteries for elimination. It is very important to have adequate blood supply to these organs so that the foetus will be able to grow and develop to maturity.

Acupuncture in pregnancy has a lot of good benefits. Not only is it safe, it is also effective in managing the different symptoms of pregnancy. More importantly, however, is that acupuncture helps make sure that our babies grow healthier inside our wombs during the entire nine months.

Should you want to read more health-related topics, click here. Being exposed to the latest trends in healthcare and wellness is definitely a great advantage.

Hair Colour Trends: How to Choose the Best for Your Hair

The first quarter of 2016 is coming to its end in just a few weeks, which also spells the beginning of hot and sunny days in many countries such as Australia. It also means a great time to change hair colour to look better under the sun. You can find a hair colourist in Melbourne that is professional and expert in what he or she is doing.

For this year, there are several hair colours that are currently in trend among women of different ages. One is warm and buttery blonde. You can think of sandy blonds, buttery beige, and less cool blondes. Another hair colour trend 2016 is dynamic bronde or a combination of brown sugary shades and warm honey tones. In general, this year will see a trend in hair colour that is combining different shades and related colours. The stylists share that these hair colour trends are giving women a more dynamic and multi-dimensional look.

Getting your hair a new colour is something that will really make you thrilled and excited. However, you should not haphazardly choose any colour for your hair just because it is the trend. There are several factors that you need to highly consider so you will end up with the best colour and style for your hair. Below are the tips you can consider when choosing the perfect hair colour:

Are you going to have a haircut as well?

If you are also planning to have a new hair style, then you should have your hair cut first. Cutting your hair first before dyeing it is far more beneficial than colouring it first before proceeding to the haircut. One benefit is the dye will be absorbed efficiently. Another is you will be able to save on dye cost because you will need less dye to give your hair a new colour. In addition, you will also achieve the overall style that you want. You will be able to see the effect of the new color on your new hair style.

Are you planning to have a drastic change?

You also have to consider the kind of change you want to achieve. You may be planning to have a slight change just to rejuvenate or revitalize your overall look. You may also be planning to have a dramatic or drastic change maybe to impress a completely different vibe. Whichever you choose, you need to consider important things such as rules and regulation at your school or at your workplace. Considering these will avoid you from wasting effort and money.

Collect photos of trending hair colours and styles?

When deciding which colour to choose, it will greatly help you to have an actual image of the different hair colour you are considering. One way to do it is to cut photos on fashion and style magazines. You can pin them on the board or wall to have a clear look and comparison of colours. Another way is to search the Web and look at them on your laptop, desktop or electronic device like tablet. When online, you may also get information about the hair colour like the skin tones that it complements well.

Highly Consider Your Natural Skin Tone

You need to determine the type of your skin tone before you can have a clear idea of the hair colours that are perfect for you. In general, the skin tone is classified as warm or cool skin colouring. It’s easy to determine your skin tone. You just need to stand outside and let the sun’s natural light strike against your wrists. If your veins appear to be green, then you have a warm undertone. If the veins appear to be blue, then you have a cool undertone.

Be Safe With Shades of Brown

Unlike other colours such as black, blonde, and red, brown has a specific shade that perfectly fits every type of skin. Choosing brown is also far more beneficial than other hair dye colours because it requires very minimal maintenance. The hair dye kits for brown shades are also very easy to follow and won’t cause you to mess up with the colouring process. In addition, brown is great and recommended for damaged hair. More importantly, brown shades effectively minimizes tresses and breakages and reflect well when under the light.

With these tips, you can surely end up with the dye colour that is best for your hair and styling needs. You will definitely have and enjoy the colour that you want without having to worry about rules and regulations that you need to follow. Most of all, letting your hair be done by a specialist guarantees satisfaction.

Baby Steps to a Healthy Diet

Most people live their unhealthy habits quite well. From ordering the same foods from a favorite restaurant, buying junk from the grocery store, and preparing unhealthy meals every single day. These are all familiar routines and, in the wrong way, comforting. However, staying on the same route could take you to a sickly road. Hypertension and diabetes are very common these days and it is so alarming since a lot of people are getting them. You have to admit that there’s at least one person you know who suffers either condition. There is a need to kick off these nasty habits so you can finally start having a healthier life.

What Should be Done First?

In the journey towards a healthier lifestyle, the first thing to do is to recognize where you are wrong. Take a moment to literally measure the problem. Check your weight and see how unhealthy eating could either pack up extra pounds or keep your weight below normal. Consider having your blood pressure taken. Years of eating high cholesterol food may have raised your levels significantly. You may also want to have blood tests done to check for blood sugar level, and other important parameters. You will only see how serious the matter is once you are able to gauge how unhealthy you truly are.

Healthy Eating for a Beginner

Deciding to switch to a healthy diet is a smart move. For a beginner, there is a need to distinguish first what is real food. Anything processed is not real. Even canned fruits that say it’s all natural can’t be trusted. After all, there are preservatives that keep them “fresh” for months. Food is real only when they came from their natural state. Meaning, real foods are those that harvested in the ground, came from the ocean, roam the land, or has flown through the air. Those that came from the drive- through, vendo machine, or when it’s packed tightly with plastic means that they are not good for you. Therefore, the most important thing to remember when trying to be healthy is to always be smart with food choices.

To start with a healthy, balanced diet, you can try to prepare your very own eat well plate. You may want to fill in a plate with at least a serving of fruit or vegetable, starchy food like pasta, rice, or bread, then add a bit of healthy meat such as fish or egg. When you are just beginning to this type of plate, expect some feelings of upset because you are not used to it. Of course, this should be a gradual process so go ahead and treat yourself just a small amount of fatty of sugary food like a slice of your favorite dessert.

Be more mindful of what you are having for meals. Food labels are there not as decorations. Take the time to read them and don’t be surprised at what you will see. Most of the times, none of the ingredients listed are something that you recognize. They add a lot of unfamiliar chemicals to make the chips you love to munch on, or the drink you like to have for snack. This should serve as a wake-up call and encourage you not to get sad about giving up such junk.

Be specific on what you want to achieve. Whether it is for losing weight or you just want to live healthy, keep it as your primary reason for doing better with meals. There are a lot of options on how to do it too. You may plan on having healthier breakfast every day, or have fruits as snacks. Why not stay home and cook fresh meals rather than go out for fast food? Even though it means a lot of hard work on your end, you can consider it not as a sacrifice but rather as a gift to yourself.

Once you are able to adjust to a healthier food group, it is now time to teach you how to stick with your decision. Sticking to healthy food choices is possible if you are able to recognize its benefits. You may have observed some changes in your body, for sure. Notice how light you feel, how easier it is to breathe while doing physical activities, and how happier you are since you started having fruits and vegetables in your plate. These should serve as good signs and should motivate you to go on. Little by little, you can kick off the bad habit of unhealthy eating when you see the great changes.

Health Foods for Middle Aged People

Known as the prime of life, the age 40 to 65 years old is perhaps one of the most celebrated periods of man’s development. By this time, you would already have a very stable job, a stable social relationship, a growing business, and the peak of your physical and mental performance. You have attained the pinnacle of a healthy mind and body. Unfortunately, by the time you reach the half-century mark, you state of health will slowly start to decline. Your skin will start to sag. Your hair will start to turn grey or white. Your heart will become more troubled. You will begin forgetting things. Of course, you will say it’s all a part of aging. However, even aging requires some form of grace and dignity.

While you are still in the prime of your life, you may want to start investing in better health for your middle adulthood. You may want to start visiting and scouring the different Melbourne health food stores for the different and most appropriate food items for middle aged individuals. It is important to recognize that when you turn 50, your body will no longer be as efficient as it used to be. Some vitamins and minerals can actually become more important around this time because of the deteriorating status of your vital organs, primarily your brain, the heart, kidneys, and the liver as well as other major organs of the body.  Here are some healthy foods that you would want to include in your middle aged diet.

Lean Fish

Forget the lean meat as lean fish is clearly a better option. With greater amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as well as an excellent source of lean protein, lean fish such as trout and salmon should give you the protection required by your aging heart. If cannot gain access to fresh lean fish, there are fish oil supplements at your favorite health food store.

Milk and Milk Products

This is especially true among women approaching their menopausal stage. Because of the absence of estrogen, bones tend to be not able to absorb calcium more efficiently. This leads to brittle bones which can result in a host of musculoskeletal disorders such as fractures, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, among others. Among men, the impact might not be that significant. Nonetheless, bone tissue degradation do occur in men albeit through a different disease process. Just make sure to get the healthier versions of milk and milk products so as not to take on unnecessary unhealthy fat into your body. Always go for low fat milk and yogurt. Additionally, calcium supplements can help you beef up on your calcium needs.

Whole Grain, Fiber-Rich Foods

Fruits and vegetables should form a big part of your middle aged diet. Remember that as you grow older your glucose metabolism may no longer be as efficient as it used to. As such, instead of including simple carbohydrates in your diet, go for the more complex ones especially those high in fiber so that the bulk will not be absorb by your body and converted into glucose. Additionally, the increased bulk brought about by fiber rich foods helps your digestive tract to be more efficient in its peristaltic activity. This simply means you will be passing more stools to prevent abnormal accumulation of toxic substances in your gut.

Legumes and Lentils

Beans and soya are excellent sources of protein which you will need to help facilitate cellular and tissue repair. Instead of going for high-fat high-protein meats, legumes and lentils are a better alternative. Include tofu, soya milk, and soya beans in your diet for that added protection against certain cancers. More importantly, blood sugar levels are better controlled with lentils on the diet.

Tomatoes

Rich in lycopene, middle aged individuals can benefit from the antioxidant properties of tomatoes. These vegetables have been shown to lower the risk of stroke and the incidence of prostate cancer among middle aged men.

Banana and Oranges

Potassium is needed to maintain cellular integrity particularly in the control of blood pressure. Including bananas and oranges in your middle aged diet can significantly reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. However, this is more significant if the diet is also reduced in salt.

There are other healthy foods for middle aged men and women. If you want to learn more, you can visit your favorite health food store for more information.