Guest blog: Small, Budget-Friendly Changes That Can Make a Big Difference in Your Health


— by Jennifer McGregor

1.png

Photo by Pexels

Making your health a priority doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, eat nothing but vegetables, or make other drastic changes to your lifestyle. In fact, drastic changes — regardless of how healthy — could do the opposite. For example, think about how many times you have jumped on the bandwagon of the latest fad diet. You probably lost some weight rather quickly, but it’s unlikely the weight stayed off. That’s because those diets require you to make immediate, unsustainable changes to the way you eat. In order to make healthy habits that stick, you have to make slow, gradual changes that add into your life as opposed to adding on

Are you among the many people looking to incorporate some healthy habits into your everyday activities? It’s not as hard as you might think! Here are suggestions for small changes that can add up to a big impact — but won’t add up to costs!

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness means focusing on the present moment, instead of worrying about something in the past — that you cannot change — or fixating on the future — that you cannot predict. When you find yourself trapped in the past or the future, find a quiet spot to close your eyes and listen to your breath. When thoughts intrude on your solitude, acknowledge them, but don’t follow them. This will come in handy for those moments when you feel guilty for eating that extra cookie or frustrated when the scale isn’t falling fast enough. If you’re having trouble grasping the art of mindfulness, there are several free smartphone apps that can aid you in the process.

Smile Big 

Good oral hygiene can impact both your physical and mental health in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Visiting the dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings can help prevent diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis. But good oral health also plays a part in preventing illness in other parts of your body, too, like diabetes and heart disease. And, believe it or not, mental health is linked to oral health, too! If you are confident in your smile, you will smile and laugh more often. If you’ve been avoiding the dentist or need to find a new one, look to your dental coverage for direction and couple with an online search to find a dentist in your neighborhood. What’s more, by staying on top of cleaning and checkups, you’ll prevent serious — and costly — dental problems from developing down the road. 

Get on a Mat

Yoga is one of the most beneficial ways to boost mental and physical health. You can go to a class at a studio or at the gym, but you can also practice at home, too. You don’t need fancy clothes or gear — if you can breathe then you are already practicing yoga! Start simple with a 15-minute energizing routine in the morning or deep, relaxing stretches in the evening. Try to work your way up to a full 60-minute practice. Yoga is also a great healthy bonding activity to do with your kids — naturally bendy in mind and body— at home, in a class or at the park. If you’re unsure about poses, there are a lot of quality, free instructional videos online.

Of course, the one piece of equipment you might need to get started is pretty straightforward: a yoga mat. Fortunately, you can affordable yoga mats at a number of retailers, and using promo codes and coupons at stores such as Dicks Sports Goods can help you save money.

Cut Out One Food Vice

Healthy eating should be a journey. Start small and simple — and only make one change at a time. For example, you can stop putting sugar in your coffee or eat a salad before every meal. It helps to log your current food habits before you make changes so you know what you’re dealing with. For instance, you may think you only have one or two sodas a day, but after you log your food for a week you could see that the reality — at least on some days — is very different. Cutting out soda entirely at first may be too challenging, but cutting out soda at dinner could be an effective way to ease yourself into a soda-free life — and it can also help you add a few more dollars into your household budget at the same time! If you want to take on bigger diet changes, think about talking to your doctor about your plans. Since he or she knows your biggest health concerns, you’ll get good insight that you might miss on your own.

Make “Me” Time

Self-care is another angle for improving health and reducing stress. Self-care might seem selfish for someone with a busy schedule — school, work or kids will always have to come first. But carving out 15 to 30 minutes every day for yourself can do wonders for helping you manage stress and prevent burnout. If you’re always putting your own needs on the back burner, you’ll eventually have nothing to give. Self-care doesn’t have to be a big event (though it can be and that’s okay). Wake up 10 minutes earlier and enjoy a cup of coffee in silence. Take a bubble bath with music and a book at the end of the day. Walk in the sunshine and listen to your favorite podcast during your lunch break. Prioritize things that make you happy, so you are better able to spread happiness to others. Here’s the best part: Setting aside a little time for yourself doesn’t require you to spend any money whatsoever if you don’t want to!

Healthy habits don’t have to be major changes in order to be life-changing. You want to make your effort stick so that these changes turn into habits, which simply turn into the way you live. Find joy in making healthy, budget-minded decisions by thinking about the short-term and long-term benefits, both for you and your family.


About the author:

Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to write about health and wellness topics. She is a pre-med student who aims to make it easier for people to find high-quality health info in one place.

Advertisements

Guest blog: Top 3 Easy Ways to Clean Your House


— by Ellen Biggs

123

Cleaning is like a herculean task for most of us. However, you can’t avoid this task for too long. Most of us dread cleaning because it costs us a lot of time and energy. How about if we can finish this task within a couple of hours?

A Simple tip to remember is clean your ceiling first, then the furniture, appliances, and then finally clean the floor.

Here are some easy ways to clean your house:

Be Prepared

Keep your cleaning agents and solutions ready, before you start cleaning your house.

  • Prepare solutions of an equal mix of water and vinegar
  • baking soda
  • lemon
  • toothbrush
  • cleaning scrubs
  • brushes
  • sponges
  • Microfiber duster
  • Newspaper
  • Liquid detergent
  • Broom
  • Disinfectant

Keep these things ready and handy. So that you don’t spend time searching for these cleaning instruments.

Keep a timer to clean each room

Create a schedule to clean each room. Each bedroom should not take more than 10 minutes.

  • Bedroom – Remove cobwebs from the ceiling, arrange your wardrobe, and wipe furniture with a microfiber cloth. Remove clutter, rearrange your nightstand and bookshelf. Remove the old bed sheets and replace with a new one. Spray some baking soda over the mattress and rug. Then vacuum the rug and the rest of the bedroom.
  • Bathroom – Each bathroom should not take more than 10 minutes. Start with spraying toilet cleaner in your toilet and on the bathroom floor. Once you brush and clean the flush and the floor, spray some disinfectant to get rid of germs.
  • Clean your living room in 10 minutes – Dust ceiling fan and light and wipe with a clean cloth. Clean your windows and blinds. Clean the furniture, carpets, and rug with the vacuum cleaner.
  • Cleaning the kitchen – Cleaning your kitchen should be within 15 minutes. All dishes should be in the dishwasher for cleaning, then clean the kitchen counters and cabinets, wipe all the appliances, and then finally clean the stove.

Floor cleaning

Once you have cleaned all the rooms, start with cleaning the floor. Vacuum the floor and remove any pet hair from the corners of the room. If you are looking for a cheap but high-quality vacuum cleaner then check the gtech multi mk2 review. Finally, mop the floor and leave it for drying. If you would like some fragrance in the house, spray some room freshener of your choice.

Now, you are done with cleaning your house. And finally, it is time to clean your cleaning brushes, mop, bucket, vacuum cleaner and all the instruments you used to clean the house. Dip all the instruments in hot water. After half an hour, just wash them in liquid detergent. Lastly, dip them in disinfectant and leave it in the sun for drying. Remove the dust bag from the vacuum cleaner and remove all the dust that has been collected in the dust bag. Clean your vacuum cleaner and put it back in its place.

It’s time to pamper yourself after the task of cleaning. Take a hot shower and pour yourself a hot tea, coffee or wine. Relax and enjoy time with family or just all by yourself.

Guest blog: How to Perk up Your Perspective in Your Senior Years


-by Jason Lewis

12.png

How to Perk up Your Perspective in Your Senior Years

Growing older can be challenging.  When age is taking a toll and changes come along that you never expected, sometimes it can feel as if the ground is shifting under your feet.  Thankfully, you can bring everything back into focus with a handful of well-chosen lifestyle decisions.

Activity for ability

With the changes that accompany aging, many seniors tend to become less active.  Unfortunately, being sedentary can complicate things, especially long-term.  In order to remain independent, it’s best to keep your body as strong and able as possible.  The positive effects are so profound, some experts even equate exercise with medicine for aging bodies.  Being fit can help ward of many health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Due to weather, difficulty with driving, and other factors, many seniors are reluctant to get out and about to get moving, but you don’t need to join a gym to stay active.  Instead, consider putting together a space at home where you can grab a workout at your convenience.  Maybe you have a spare bedroom or den that could be converted.  If space is tight, you can put furniture and other belongings in storage while you figure out what you want to do with it.  Use a search tool to find a nearby unit; for instance, River Campus Storage has 5’ x 5’ units available for $48, right in Rochester, so it’s an affordable resolution.

Do some decluttering

After clearing away space for your home gym, consider doing some decluttering throughout your home.  Clutter can mean tripping hazards as you grow older.  Daily Caring points out seniors are at increased risk for falls due to reduced strength, waning eyesight, poor balance, and lost flexibility.  On top of making it easier to get around your home, there are some surprising mental health benefits from decluttering, such as lowered anxiety levels, improved ability to focus, better productivity, and reduced stress.  Also, often lurking in clutter is an abundance of dust and germs, so tidying up can decrease troubles like allergies and illnesses.

Paring down can be challenging for seniors, especially if you have a lot of sentimental belongings.  Take your time, and choose a decluttering method that feels right for you, like filling one trash bag a day with items to donate to charity, or spending just five minutes at a time on decluttering.  In order to be able to focus your energy on paring down, think about hiring a housecleaning service for awhile.  That way when you’re stirring up dust and debris as you work, you won’t get bogged down with the housekeeping part of things.  The cost for hiring a cleaning service ranges from $60 to $340, with the national average coming in at $160.  While it might feel like a luxury, this could lead to a regular service that frees up your time and energy for more enticing activities.

Visit new places

Getting your home in order is a wonderful thing and it can make you much more comfortable being there.  However, it’s also important for seniors to try a change of scenery.  Orbitz cites research showing traveling can be a boost to your mental health.  It’s a chance to reframe your outlook, keep you from falling into a rut, and can even reduce your risk for depression.  Traveling is good for brain health because it challenges you to think differently and prompts you to use various parts of your brain.  It can also help you feel more positive, more relaxed, less stressed, and be more productive.

Of course, one important detail holds many seniors back from traveling: money.  Consider checking into your community for senior travel clubs.  It’s a great way to meet other seniors, keeping you socially active and connected, and some clubs focus on particular interests.  There are groups for women, or budget-oriented ones, or you can start your own club.  To give you an idea of costs, charter bus services run anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 a day, which can easily be split among a large group.

As you strive to enjoy your golden years, a few simple changes can help you feel more grounded.  Consider being more active, decluttering, and enjoying a little travel.  Making a few different choices can go a long way toward helping you perk up your perspective on life!

Guest Blog: 10 Benefits of Regularly Visiting the Dentist


by Harper Reid

e.jpg

Image Source: Pixabay

Twice a year. This is the recommended number of times that you should be visiting the dentist according to most dental experts. This number may even be higher for some at-risk people, such as smokers, diabetics, pregnant women and those who are currently suffering from gum disease or have a tendency to get cavities, infections or a build-up of plaque.

Most people are familiar with the benefits of brushing their teeth twice a day, yet many people baulk at the idea of going to the dentist. So why are these regular dentist visits so important?

  • Education

Regular dental check-ups are the ideal opportunity to learn about proper oral care and have your questions answered, such as the difference between the many types of toothpaste on the market. Dentists are a far more reliable source than generic websites, and they will be able to provide up-to-date information and advice on how best to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

  • Increase the health of your mouth

One of the main benefits of visiting the dentist regularly is that he will check your teeth, tongue, gums and mouth for any issues. Identifying and remedying any dental issues quickly and as early as possible decreases the likelihood of developing serious oral health problems and ensures that your mouth is as healthy as possible.

  • Remove the build-up of plaque and tartar

Plaque and tartar are the root cause of many dental problems, which can be avoided by regular cleaning at the dentist. Plaque hardens and becomes tartar if not removed. This can lead to cavities, irritation and the potential for gum disease to develop. Tartar cannot be easily removed by standard brushing. However, the dentist has special tools to remove this build-up in a process called “scaling”.

  • Reduce cavities

Cavities are not only painful, but they can lead to complications and develop into serious health issues. For example, life-threatening septicaemia can occur when infection from untreated cavities is transferred into the bloodstream.

f.jpg

Image Source: MaxPixel

  • Reduce risk of gingivitis

Gingivitis is a gum disease caused by the build-up of plaque and poor dental hygiene, highlighting the importance of teeth cleaning. Gingivitis can cause irritation, bleeding and inflammation of the gums. This can potentially result in tooth-loss or other serious issues including periodontal disease that can destroy both gums and bone.

  • Reduce inflammation

Your dentist can help reduce any inflammation before it becomes a serious health issue. Inflammation increases your vulnerability to disease that may be the underlying cause of many chronic health issues. It has even been linked to premature ageing.

  • Prevent tooth decay and tooth loss

The poster child for the importance of regular dental visits, tooth decay and tooth loss can both cause you pain and cost you money in the long run. The early detection of oral issues will help to prevent the complete loss of your teeth and reduces the likelihood of requiring dentures or dental implants in the future.

  • Screen for oral cancers

The early identification and treatment of oral cancer may save your life. Regular examinations will ensure that your gums and surrounding tissues are healthy and that there are no cancerous tissues present.

 

g.jpg

Image Source: Unsplash

 

  • Create a better smile

The dentist will often polish your teeth, removing any surface stains and enhancing your already beautiful smile. For severe staining, you may have the option of veneers, which are an ultra-thin porcelain or composite resin shell that is fixed to the tooth, or you could undergo a teeth whitening procedure. You can also discuss the possibility of other dental procedures, such as dental restoration or straightening if desired.

  • Promote good overall health

Improving your overall health is one of the benefits of stronger teeth. A healthy mouth decreases the amount of harmful bacteria you swallow. A healthy mouth also allows you to eat (and enjoy!) the food that is necessary to keep you happy, healthy, energetic and able to enjoy life to the fullest.

————————

A grin spreads across Harper’s face when she wakes up, even on Mondays, because she loves her job! Spending hours engrossed in creative writing is her dream come true. Over the years, she has worked with numerous lovely blogs and has also written for local sites such as Working In NZ. Harper shares her published work on WordPress.

Easiest Way to Remember the Planets in the Solar System (18+)


solar-system-439046_1920

A Father teaching his son about the planets in the solar system.

Father: What other way do I call you?
Son: son?

Father: Correct, now when you show someone your ass, what is the act called?
Son: to Moon

Father: Excellent. Ok still within your ass area, what is another word for your butthole?
Son: your anus?

Father: I’m impressed son 😊, one more question that has to do with your ass, when you get sick and you have to measure your temperature rectally, what do you use?
Son: thermometer?

Father: Right, now tell me what’s in it?
Son: mercury?

Father: Good job, what is on the other side of your ass?
Son: penis?
Father: Good, now substitute the p with a v
Son: venis?

Father: You are on a roll kiddo. What crappy car does your mom drive?
Son: Saturn?

Father: Nice, what is the name of Mickey Mouse’s dog?
Son: Pluto.

Father: So proud of you son, what is your favorite chocolate?
Son: Mars
Father: Good choice, now if you take the caramel out of that Mars Chocolate bar what does it become?
Son: Milky way?
Father: Yup, and that is the name of the galaxy that contains our solar system
Son: galaxy? Isn’t that a chocolate?

Father: Exactly, that’s what makes learning about it so sweet.
now answer this: you Rob Paul to pay who exactly?
Son: Peter.
Father: Good, now stay with me. What is Peter’s religion?
Son: Christian
Father: Right, that means he was not a – – ???
Son: Muslim?
Father: True, but try another one.
Son: Jew?
Father: Now put them together, he was not a – -?
Son: Jew Peter?

Father: You are gifted son, I think you are ready for a job at Nasa.
Son: isn’t there one more planet though?

Father: You are absolutely right, and there is no reasonable explanation to that one, I guess it fell through the cracks, they call it Neptune. Just memorize it.

P.S: I am assuming you all know we live on earth 🙂 

Raghid K. Khalil 

Guest Blog: 4 Surprising Health Benefits of a Clean Home


by Brad Krause

se

Photo by Pexels

Even though you may not enjoy the act of cleaning, most people still enjoy living in a clean home. In fact, research shows that living in a clean, organized space can heavily influence both our mental and physical health. For example, piles of laundry can make us feel claustrophobic. Cluttered desks and surfaces can make us feel stress and anxiety. Allergens and pollutants whirling around our indoor air can impair our lung and heart health both in the short-term and long-term.

Do you want to feel healthier in your home? It’s not always easy to establish new cleaning habits, but these four benefits might be surprising, and they can help make cleaning more simple and effective.

Better sleep

A clean and organized home can have a direct impact on the quality of your sleep. Mentally, our consciousness is often weighed down by unfinished business, which is hard to shake if you have piles of laundry or stacks of mail staring at you as you try to fall asleep. Physically, you sleep better because a clean home has fewer allergens such as dust mites, pollen and dander that often interrupt breathing at night — sometimes without us even knowing.  Clean your indoor air by changing your air filter every month if you have severe allergies, vacuuming daily if you have pets and purchasing an air purifier. This appliance can improve the air quality of your home by removing particles that make up dust, dander, dust mites, pollen and other bacteria in your air. If you have live with a smoker or have a wood-burning stove in your home, an air purifier is a must for reducing indoor secondhand and thirdhand smoke and other toxins, which can lead to respiratory problems. When searching for an air purifier, you can review this guide to make a budget-friendly choice for your home.

Calmer and more relaxed

When you are surrounded by clutter, you feel cluttered. When the clutter starts to pile up even higher, it can be harder to get motivated to make change. That’s when it’s time to find the Zen in cleaning. Change your perception so the act of cleaning elicits a soothing, serene state of mind. To avoid still feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to start small. Pick one room or even a corner in a room to clear and organize. Not only will cleaning help you feel calmer and more relaxed, but it also keeps you productive and gives you a warm feeling of accomplishment.

Believe it or not, cleaning makes you happy! Yes, the daily chores you tend to dread will actually, over time, elevate your mood, improve your outlook and give you more reasons to smile. First, cleaning gives you a sense of newness— a fresh start you can feel every day. Secondly, a clean home is one filled with fewer distractions, so you can focus on finishing that exciting bestseller, painting a landscape of your last vacation or training for that upcoming 5k race. In other words, when you take the time to clean, you actually free up more time for yourself.

Healthier lifestyle choices

When you live and breathe in a cleaner space, your healthy environment begins to trickle into other areas of your life. Research shows that people who live in cleaner homes tend to have healthier diets, exercise more, smoke less or not at all and maintain their hobbies. When you eliminate the allergens in your air, you are getting cleaner oxygen that you transform into physical energy to devote to exercise. When you spend more time doing activities you enjoy, you feel less stressed and are better able to adapt to change. When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see how the act of cleaning improves your health, as well as how living in a cleaner space opens you up to cleaner living.

Cleaning hardly tops anyone’s idea of a fun time. In fact, many see it as a necessary evil. But if you make strides to change your perspective and your habits, you will start to see and feel the benefits of a clean home.

 

Guest Blog: Self-Care: A Priceless Gift For You


by Brad Krause

selfcare

Who doesn’t appreciate an hour—or two—to relax and let your mind wander, indulge in a good book or your favorite TV show or chill in a hammock guilt-free? Alas, with all of life’s demands, whether it’s your job, family and other responsibilities, we tend to cancel or put off those activities that give us time to recharge. But self-care is critical for maintaining good mental, physical and emotional health.

Why?

Self-care helps you to stay connected with yourself and remind you of your self-worth, produce positive feelings, boost self-confidence and self-esteem. When you take time to take care of yourself, you’re setting a good example for your family while reminding them that your needs are important, too.

Self-care staves off stress that stems from working too much; contrary to popular belief, workaholism is not a virtue. Workaholism leads to mistakes, decreased productivity and utter exhaustion. Overworking becomes a slippery slope that can invite serious health issues including anxiety and depression, insomnia and heart disease.

Self-care prevents burnout from too much work, too many demands on your time and too many areas in which it’s all too easy to spread yourself too thin. When you’ve pushed yourself beyond that proverbial breaking point, you’re simply going through the motions and, let’s face it—everything suffers. Plus, taking that step back and physically taking a break, can often lead to a breakthrough. In fact, science has proven that taking breaks—and ensuring that you’re getting consistently restful sleep—will enhance your performance.

Self-care habits like taking breaks from work—eating lunch with a colleague or taking a stroll during a break—improve energy levels and your mood. Mobile technology makes it all too easy for us to stay connected 24-7, so make a conscious effort to unplug and set boundaries between work and personal time.

How to start

Whether you’re trying to cultivate a new self-care routine or looking for other ways to increase your mental and physical mojo, check out this list of stress management hacks. Try them out and tweak as you need, because it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition:

Schedule time to exercise. Put it in your calendar like your kids’ activities and work meetings. If it’s already part of your daily routine, you’re more likely to follow through. Need help with accountability? Join the gym or a class with a friend or two. Too busy to hit the gym? Download  self-care apps, which will give you suggestions to get your move on—even if you only have five minutes to spare.

Eat well. It’s way too easy to hit the drive-through or grab a slice of leftover pizza. Instead, use your Crockpot or instant pot for easy meal cooking. Take a few hours on the weekend or a weeknight to plan and prep meals for a week or a month. If you find yourself reaching for comfort foods because they taste good (and they make you feel good), think about changing how you eat, too. Are you reaching for a box of cookies to reward yourself for a rough day, or consuming too many carbs at dinner because you skipped breakfast and lunch? Check out these suggestions on how to eat well.

Practice mindfulness to manage stress and help your body to relax. Think about it: What do we do, daily, to maintain our psychological health? During the day, take a minute to look at a picture or listen to a song that makes you happy and recharges your batteries. Take a stroll around the block, electronics-free, to feel the sunshine and connect with nature.

These resources from the Positive Psychology Program include worksheets and exercises to build mindfulness, including the self-compassion pause, self-inquiry meditation, five senses exercise, and mini-mindfulness exercises. Deep breathing techniques are another good way to reduce stress by turning off the chemicals your body releases when the fight or flight response activates.

Change your perspective

Value yourself—guilt-free. Prioritizing and taking care of yourself improves all aspects of your life. As you’re evaluating where and how to prioritize your self-care, also think about your social, financial, and workspace needs, too.

Photo Credit: pixabay.com