Choosing the Perfect Breast Pump for Your Nursing Needs

Looking for the best bream pump to buy in Australia? Motherhood and breast pump ownership seem to go hand in hand nowadays, with Australia even recognizing breastfeeding as right instead of a privilege.

Finding one isn’t always easy though. When I was expecting my first child, I had to literally spend days looking for the ideal breast pump that will last me for a long time. Here’s what I found out:

Manual or Electric Pump

Electric pumps need to be plugged in order to work – which means that your power source has to be reliable. A manual one gives you the benefit of usability regardless of where you’re located – but it also takes a bit of work on your part.

Of course, there’s the healthy middle of battery-operated breast pumps but I realized that with these, the suction is slower and the batteries run out quickly.

Personally, I loved the electric breast pump with a handy and cheap manual one on the side for emergency purposes.

Adjustable Suction

The suction power needed to draw milk out of a woman’s breast varies from one person to another – as we soon found out when my sister borrowed my electric pump.

The low setting wasn’t working for her as it did for me. Fortunately, my electrical pump has an adjustable suction so it’s possible to kick it up a notch for other users.

This is not a problem with manual pumps but if you’re going to buy an electric one, my advice is to find one with an adjustable suction. Look into the cup as well – you want to make sure that it fits over the breast.

Assembly and Transportation

As a working mom, I knew I needed a breast pump that I can easily dissemble for quick transport. Most breast pumps today are fairly small – but they’re still bulky so you can’t carry them inside a convenient handbag.

This shouldn’t stop you though and with the smaller versions, you can quickly take it to the office and subtly use it during break time.

It’s also perfect for when going on vacations or long trips! I personally chose a model that comes in a convenient travel case.

If you don’t see yourself traveling with the baby or if you don’t want to bring one in the office however, then this shouldn’t be a major issue.

Product Cleanup

No matter where or how you use the breast pump, you’re going to have to clean it at some point. Go for one that’s easy to clean with parts that are dishwasher-friendly.

This should decrease the job you have to do when preparing milk for the baby. Believe me – being able to just jump the parts in the dishwasher for a quick clean would make your life a whole lot easier.

Double or Single Pump

Do you plan to suction both breasts at the same time or just one at a time? If you’re working – a double breast pump is ideal because it marginally increases the supply.

This means you don’t have to express milk as much or as often. If work won’t take most of your time, however, a single pump would be enough.

From time to time, it’s also a good idea to simply feed the baby milk directly from your breasts. This helps foster the bond between baby and mom.

Available Replacement and Accessories

This is a consideration that I, sadly, learned a little too late. I bought an electric pump with parts and accessories that are a quite difficult to find in the market. Don’t make the mistake that I did and ask if there are available replacement parts for sale if needed.

Of course, don’t forget the fact that your purchase would be limited by your budget. Settle on a budget and find brands with good reviews and go from there.

Note that some insurance companies in Australia also cover breast pump purchases so start with the brands covered by your insurer.

Ergonomics Tips for Working at Home

We are now living in a reality where a large majority of people are working from home. As COVID-19 still ravages the entire globe, social distancing will remain a prevailing way of life for all of us.

Setting up a computer system at work can be challenging especially for those who have been used to the office environment. Ergonomics is a vital component in creating an ideal working environment at home.

We’ve all heard about ergonomics at some point in our lives, but what is it exactly?

Simply put, it’s a practical science that deals with the design and setup of things that we use resulting in increased productivity, efficiency, and safety.

Establishing an ergonomically-designed workspace translates to optimal comfort, allowing you to focus on tasks at hand, which ultimately leads to enhanced productivity.

Here are some ergonomics recommendations that you can apply to create the perfect workspace within the comfort of your home:

1. Use a desk featuring adequate knee and foot clearance, so you avoid having to sit too close to your desktop.

2. Make sure to place your keyboard and mouse in front of you, making sure they are within easy reach.

3. If you are using a laptop, position it in such a way that the screen is level with your eyes. You can use a box or a pile of books to raise your laptop at eye level.

4. Use an adjustable chair for your work desk. You can use rolled hand towels for much-needed lower back support. If your chair is too low, use a cushion to raise your chair at an ideal seat height.

5. Consider using a kneeling chair. Numerous studies point to the hazards of sitting on a traditional chair for extended periods. Pain is undeniably a major distraction while working, so make sure to give kneeling chair a try.

Using the best ergonomic kneeling chair provides a host of proven benefits such as better body positioning, enhanced blood circulation, and increased energy, and stronger core muscles over time.

6. Make sure to keep a good posture at all times. It can be challenging to assume the ideal posture all-day long, but like all other things, practice makes perfect.

Make sure that your back has ample support, your shoulders relaxed, with no pressure on the back of the knees. Avoid slouching, twisting on your side, or leaning forward to reduce neck strain.

7. When using a traditional office chair, make sure to adjust the set back. In this way, your lower back and mid back receives ample support. Make sure to adjust the height, angle, and tilt tension on seat back position until you find the right level of comfort.

8. Make sure that the ASDF row of your keyboard is at your elbow height to optimise comfort while on a sitting or standing workspace.

9. Your elbows should be close to your sides. Make the necessary adjustments on the arm rest, so that you can rest your forearms on the arm rest while working. Also, keep your shoulders up and relaxed and avoid slouching your shoulders forward.

10. Don’t sit in front of the computer for too long. Take short breaks, so that you can rest and relax your entire body from sitting for long hours. Follow the 20-20-20 rule when taking breaks from work. Give your eyes a break by looking at things that are 20 feet away from your computer.

We hope that these tips will help you in successfully creating a productive and safe workspace at home. Investing time and money to improve your home office ergonomics will be beneficial over time, as you start noticing your usual aches and pains start to fade away.

Link Between Commercial Cleaning and Employee Productivity (Opinion)

From my point of view, in the business environment it is often best to make use of commercial cleaning services in order to ensure that your business is always hygienically clean. That way, it ensures a pleasant workplace environment for all employees. It is even possible to have a commercial cleaning service which will clean at night when there are very few employees on the premises.

This has the benefit that when employees arrive in the morning everything is organised and people can start to be productive right away. As an example, Tullamarine commercial cleaning services and in particular, the reputable ones will do everything in their ability to keep their clients happy because they know that there are many other cleaning services which will be more than happy to take their place.

The participation of every employee is also important in order to ensure a well-organised and a tidy workplace. A very good principle will be to ensure that every employee will be personally responsible for the area where they are working. They should ensure that that area is well-maintained at all times. All employees should be committed to ensure that their workplace is always highly organized and that the office will be attractive to visitors.

It will be important to effectively maintain assets such as tiles and carpets. In a busy office environment there are so many things which can end up on the floor such as papers, staples and even paperclips. This can quickly result in an area that looks like it has not been cleaned for some time. Nevertheless, an efficient system should be in place in order to ensure that all areas is frequently washed or vacuumed in order to ensure that those areas are always hygienically clean. This will also create a favorable impression when receiving visitors or clients.

When starting a new business, it is important to pay attention when it comes to the accessibility of all areas on the premises. Likewise, it is important to arrange furniture and other office accessories in such a way in order to ensure that all places are easily accessible and can be easily cleaned when necessary. There are many offices where they are difficult to reach places behind furniture or filing cabinets and these places can become a breeding place for unwanted intruders.

It is also important to have an efficient system in place in order to make sure that the trash which is collected are removed on a daily basis. Many businesses will employ a janitor to deal with these things but when such an employee is not available arrangements should be made in order to ensure that all trashes are removed before the business closes. When this is not done this can quickly result in a situation where bacteria start to grow in trash cans and this can have a very negative impact on the health of employees.

Cleanliness and good hygienic is best handled in a group environment. Every employee should contribute in order to ensure that the premises is always hygienically clean and favorably presented to visitors and clients. Employee should be educated about the statistics which clearly show that a clean workplace is conducive to higher employee productivity and also employee satisfaction.

Looking to Buy Your First Home Gym? Consider These Things First

There are more Australians who are buying home gyms to help in their fitness goals. These fitness workstations are like miniature gyms that allow you to perform many different exercises.

Unfortunately, making the decision to buy the best home gym in Australia is one thing; it is another to choose the right one for you.

Here are some factors that I think you should consider when buying a home gym.

Fitness Goals

We all have our reasons for wanting to exercise. Some of us want to have a home gym to help us lose weight.

There are also some of us who would like to build muscle and sculpt our body. Personally, I want to have a combination of both. I know that I can achieve my ideal weight much better if I can grow leaner muscles.

Having a very clear idea of what you want to achieve will help you determine the kind of home gym to buy.

Also, this will give you a clue whether to buy a ready-to-use home gym or to build one from scratch yourself. The point here is to look at your long-term goals. You may think that you want to lose weight now.

However, once you have already lost weight, what then? Will you stop using the home gym altogether? Or, would it be more appropriate to try working on other fitness goals?

Needs

Based on your goals, decide on the things that you really need. For example, if you want to lose weight, you will have to decide on the best type of exercise that will help you accomplish this goal.

Will you pick a treadmill over a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer? Are these contraptions included in the home gym that you want to buy?

Likewise, if your goal is to strength-train, then you need to determine the different muscle groups that you want to build.

Is it the arms and upper body? How about the muscles of the core, including the pelvis and the back?

You will also have to think about strengthening the leg muscles. Make sure that the home gym provides you enough ‘stations’ to work the different muscle groups.

Space

Home gyms are large pieces of exercise equipment that can take a minimum floor area of 1.5 by 2.0 metres. This is the base of the home gym alone.

If there are attachments, like a weightlifting bench or some other contraption, then the space requirement can also increase.

My suggestion is to determine that part of your house where you intend to place the home gym. Measure the dimension of the area where you’re going to put the home gym.

Do not forget to give about half a metre of allowance on all sides. Also consider the height of your ceiling. Most home gyms come with a tower as their base.

It would be a shame to buy one only to find out that the top of the home gym will scrape into your ceiling. Use this information to determine the kind of home gym you need to buy.

Budget

Commercial-grade home gyms can cost several hundreds of Australian dollars. I once encountered a home gym that sold for a few thousand dollars.

There are also cheaper versions. You will still be spending a few hundred dollars for these ‘entry-level’ home gyms.

I recommend starting with a base platform. Choose one that can offer you a number of expansion options. When you do have the budget, you can add one exercise device at a time.

Buying a home gym requires a very clear idea of what you want to accomplish. This should help you determine the kind of home gym that is perfect for you.

Indoor Cricket Is A Game For Everyone

Playing a sport is definitely one of the best ways to remain active and still have fun. After all, not everyone finds going to the gym exciting and I am one of those people. Instead, I decided to think of different ways to stay physically active.

After scouting around some indoor sports stadiums, I stumbled upon the idea of playing indoor cricket. For cricket fans and wanna-be cricket players, this sport is truly exciting and can be fun to play with friends or family members. The indoor version, which was developed in Australia, is a version that can be played the whole year-round and is also suitable for beginners.

While playing outdoors during summer is also fun, opting for an indoor sport means the game can continue despite the weather. Plus, indoor cricket includes a ceiling 4 meters high and netting covering the whole court. The size of the pitch and the stumps are just the same as the outdoor version.

Advantages of Indoor Cricket

I became interested in indoor cricket after watching a game in the indoor sports stadium close by. I was mesmerized at how exciting and fast-paced the game was and I decided to try out playing indoor cricket with friends. Although all of us have not had a lot of experience playing this sport, I knew we will have fun. Thankfully, the game is not as complicated nor does it require any specific skill.

We signed up at the indoor stadium for a trial game and called up other friends to complete the 8 people required for a game. It took a bit of time to get the hang of the rules and how to play but once we started, it did not disappoint. Compared to other games, everyone could play because unlike outdoor cricket, no one is banished far away that he could not participate.

The game lasts 2 innings, with each inning lasting 16 overs. Every player gets to bowl 2 overs and can bat for 4 overs. Everyone gets their turn and in fact, the whole game is fast-paced and exciting.

Playing With Kids

After trying it out, my friends and I have since planned further games, this time with younger players. Because some of us have families and kids, it is the best sport for us. We even planned a family day wherein the kids could also play on their own or join a couple of our games. Compared to regular outdoor cricket, the ball is softer, making it even more kid-friendly.

Because our games are for fun as opposed to playing competitively, it is also perfect for those of us who are not as fit. Fortunately, there is no need to run a hundred yards to collect the ball close to the boundary, nor the need to throw it this far away. There is also no pressure to hit the ball a hundred yards. Runs are instead scored in quite a few ways, so if you are an amateur player, you still have a great chance of ruling the game.

The Best Option For A Fun And Active Day

At first, it was not easy to find a sport that we can play the whole year round but thanks to the many indoor sports stadiums in our city, we became hooked on indoor cricket. It is easy, exciting, and fun for everyone regardless of gender and age.

Since then, we have organized more competitive games just for me and my mates, family days, and even with our partners. So if you are also looking for an interesting activity for you and your friends, then you should head over to your closest indoor sports stadium now.

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.