I've decided to take my own advice this month and banish winter tiredness by doing less - such as writing an original blog. After all, why reinvent the wheel! So, here's some great advice from the NHS on how to stay healthy this winter .....
"It may be cold outside, but winter needn't be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family.
Here are five ways to make sure that, even when your body is telling you to hibernate, you can keep healthy and fit, no matter what the weather's like.
Banish winter tiredness
Many people feel tired and sluggish during winter. This is due to the lack of sunlight, which disrupts our sleep and waking cycles.
Try these tips:
Eat more fruit and veg
When it's cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy comfort food. However, it's important to ensure you still have a healthy diet and include five portions of fruit and veg a day.
If you find yourself craving a sugary treat, try a juicy clementine or satsuma instead.
Winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips can be roasted, mashed or made into soup for a comforting winter meal for the whole family. Explore varieties of fruit and veg that you may not normally eat.
Read more about how to get your 5 A Day.
Find recipes for 10 warming hot meals.
Drink more milk
You are more likely to get a cold in winter, so make sure your immune system is in tip-top condition.
Milk and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are great sources of:
Read more about milk and dairy foods.
Read more about healthy eating.
Try new activities for the whole family
Don't use the cold winter months as an excuse to stay in and lounge around. Instead, get out with the whole family to try out a new activity –maybe ice skating, or taking a bracing winter walk on the beach or through the park.
Regular exercise helps control your weight, boost your immune system, and is a good way to break the tension that can build if the family is constantly cooped up inside the house.
Read more about different types of exercise for you and your family.
Have a hearty breakfast
Winter is the perfect season for porridge. Eating a warm bowlful on a cold morning isn't just a delicious way to start your day, it also helps boost your intake of starchy foods and fibre.
These foods give you energy and help you feel fuller for longer, stopping the temptation to snack mid-morning. Oats also contain lots of vital vitamins and minerals.
Make your porridge with semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk, or water, and don't add sugar or salt. Add a sliced banana, berries or other fruit for extra flavour and to help you hit your 5 A Day target.
Get more ideas for healthy breakfasts."
And here's the link to the page with the original article:
And of course, some Reflexology won't hurt either. To book a treatment go to http://www.lothianreflexology.co.uk/book-a-treatment.html
The International Stress Management Association launched their 2008 National Stress Awareness Day with their top ten stress busters:
Pick one items from the list and put it into practice and see how well it works for you.
Or you could come for a relaxing Reflexology or Indian Head Massage and let someone else take the strain for a change. Just call Doris on 07724 197627 to book your appointment. And remember there's a special JULY OFFER: £10 off your first treatment - but only if you book in July (appointments can be scheduled for August).
Hypnotherapy, affirmations, the law of attraction, NLP, positive thinking, the Silva Method - there's a long list of modalities and techniques that claim to be able to help you think positively and be able to manifest whatever you want, just by using the power of your brain. So you want to be wealthy, healthy or happy - just think yourself so. It may not be quite as simple as that, but it's most people would recognise that a strong focus and a positive attitude will be more likely to get you towards your goal more quickly. And it's not just goals that can be influenced.
It's claimed that mental images produce changes in the body on a physical, chemical and immunological level that can affect health. What you see in your mind’s eye can change specific immune system responses that may affect such things as white blood cell count. It may sound a bit far fetched, but there is beginning to be some research to suggest that this might be so. Visualisation is taught to people undergoing cancer treatments or suffering from anxiety or depression.
Guided imagery – more often known as visualisation – is an important tool in influencing a variety of health problems. It provides benefits and poses virtually no risk. The principle is that vivid imagery sends messages from the cerebral cortex to the lower brain. From there the message is relayed to the endocrine and the autonomic nervous systems, which affect a wide range of bodily functions, including heart and respiration rates and blood pressure.
And visualisation can also be used to improve personal performance: it’s a way of programming your brain (and body) to help achieve the required outcome. Athletes place as much importance on mental preparation before an event as they do on physical preparation. It's a really simple process and since you can't stop thinking, you may as well direct your thoughts to a more specific outcome.
Why not give it a try yourself.....
And talking about focus, I'd just like to remind you that I have a special JULY OFFER: £10 off your first treatment of Reflexology or Indian Head Massage, so please help me spread the word. This offer is only available for treatments booked in July, so don't delay. To book just call Doris on 07724 197627.
You shower or bathe every morning, right? So why not incorporate a dry body brushing routine before you step into the shower or bath – I guarantee, it will set you up for the rest of the day.
Body brushing uses a loofah or natural bristle brush with a long handle (or you can use synthetic gloves, but it doesn’t feel as nice). To get the desired effect, the brush should always be kept dry.
Not only will body brushing leave you feel refreshed and energised after your shower or bath, but it will help your body detoxify, exfoliate dead skin cells, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
The skin is the largest organ in the body and plays an important role in the elimination of toxins. and of course, smooth skin is particularly nice to have at this time of year when (hopefully) summer is just around the corner.
So, how does one body brush? Well it's important to work on dry skin to get the desired effect and it's essential to work towards the heart because that stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid. It also helps if you can remember to keep your touch light and your strokes sweeping. By the end of your body brushing routine, your skin should feel tingly, rather than sore or scratched.
Begin with the feet and ankles and then move to lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Your back is the exception to the brushing upwards rule - for your back you are best to brush from the neck down. And remember it's called body brushing - so stay away from the delicate skin of the face.
Once you're feeling full of zing from your brushing, you can jump into your shower or bath and wash away the dead skin cells. And afterwards, if you've got time, moisturise for that nourished, smooth, supple skin feeling.
A couple of notes of caution: be careful of delicate skin areas and don't dry body brush over inflamed, cut or broken skin, or over varicose veins. Also, have your own personal body brush and wash it regularly.
Give body brushing a try daily for 30 days and see the health and beauty benefits - better circulation and smoother skin.
Of course, if you run out of stamina, jump into the shower before you remember to do your body brushing, or just want someone else to take the strain, a reflexology treatment could be a good substitute. It's relaxing, reviving and helps re-balance the body. And there's 20% off your first treatment in May and June 2014.
I was surfing "biological age" recently and I came across this article in the Mail Online by Elizabeth Peyton-Jones about eating yourself younger. Click on this link if you want to read the whole thing.
She suggests that the five ageing accelerators are:
Signs of inflammation are digestive gas, bloating, loose stools, runny nose or eyes. As we age our natural inflammatory response - the response that helps us heal and fight off infection - can become overactive, leaving activated immune cells circulating in the body. Foods that can trigger inflammation are: red meat, sugar, white flour and some dairy products. The best anti-inflammatory suggested in the article is turmeric: "Aim for one teaspoon of dried turmeric or a thumb-sized piece of fresh root every day". But watch out as it can stain hands and clothes.
Oxidation is another process which accelerates ageing. Increasing the level of anti-oxidents which reduce the level of free radicals has been heavily emphasised over the past few years as a way to protect against cancer. There are indications that this may have been over-emphasised, but anti-oxidents are still important to robust health. Elizabeth Peyton-Jones suggests that the best antioxidant are red beans: kidney, pinto or aduki beans.
Hormone imbalances can have a dramatic effect on ageing including: weight gain, wrinkles, headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue, dry skin, thinning hair, brittle nails, cellulite, sagging skin, poor memory. The article suggests that key hormone balancers are: pumpkin seeds, asparagus, unrefined whole grains, nuts (especially brazil nuts) and the best of them all if garlic - aim to eat one clove a day.
Acidification is chronic acidity of the body and can lead to premature ageing. Acid producing foods include: red mean, coffee, cheese, cereal,and sugary drinks and snacks. Too much acid and the body pulls calcium and magnesium from bones, and iodine from soft tissue: this can lead to osteoporosis, fatigue and depression, weight gain and diabetes. But acid foods may not be acid forming, for example, citrus fruits are acidic, but have an alkalising effect on the body. Elizabeth Payton-Jones suggests that the best alkaliser is lemon and we should start our day with a drink of lemon juice in warm water - but use a straw, so acid doesn't harm tooth enamel.
And she suggests that the five most ageing foods are:
No surprise there then!
Well, Reflexology might not make you younger, but I'd like to suggest that the gentle rebalancing and detox that seems to accompany a Reflexology treatment would be a perfect supplement to a nutritional approach to ageing well.
Vouchers are available, so why not treat your mother for Mother's Day!
LOTHIAN REFLEXOLOGY - Reflexology for Stress, General Health, Fertility and Pregnancy. Also available: Indian Head Massage and Facial Rejuvination Massage.
Book by calling Doris on 07724 197627 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.