Body

Placeholder Content Image

Try this easy post-holiday detox

<p>It’s amazing how the holiday spirit can inspire us to almost super-human feats of indulgence. Food is such an integral part of lifestyle and let's face it, everything seems to be on a larger scale during a holiday with friends and family.</p> <p>There is nothing wrong with treating ourselves to a little gastronomic during a well-earned break. We all need the opportunity to let our hair down now and then and when friends and family are around, food and drink are a natural part of the equation. To balance the metabolic budget, however, why not consider some quick and easy detox ideas that you can take on board when the party is over. </p> <p><strong>Flush out the nasties</strong></p> <p>Salt is one of the main offenders found in festive fare and can have some negative health effects. It can cause retention of fluid in body tissue, which hinders the body from flushing out the nasties and can leave you feeling heavy and bloated. It is also linked to high blood pressure. One of the simplest remedies to help relieve the effects and getting things back in balance is to drink plenty of water. It helps the kidneys to get the flushing process going. Water also combats the effects of excessive alcohol intake, so it is a great first step. Aim for 8 glasses a day.</p> <p><strong>Beverages for better balance</strong></p> <p>Beyond water, there are some useful drinks that can help flush the system and combat excess fat consumption. Green tea is a great antioxidant tonic to help get your body fighting back. If you are a coffee drinker, why not swap the cappuccino for a green tea a few times a day for a couple of weeks after over-indulinging. You still get your caffeine fix along with the health benefits that green tea provides. A drop of organic honey can be added if you like a sweeter cuppa.</p> <p>For an early morning pick-me-up detox drink add some ginger grated finely on a zester, along with some lemon juice to some water. It’s great for the liver, digestion, circulation and immunity. Grapefruit juice is another great day-starter and is packed with Vitamin C, which is ideal for getting the metabolism functioning. </p> <p>Feeling dehydrated? Coconut water can help build up any electrolytes that have been stripped out, while also providing a hit of useful elements like magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Drink it straight or add to smoothies.</p> <p><strong>What should you eat?</strong></p> <p>There is no need to go on a crash diet of crackers and cottage cheese after a holiday binge, but there are some simple rules to follow to help restore balance. It is best to give the rich foods a rest and take a break from red meat, wheat and dairy products in order to ease the pressure on your digestive system. Instead enjoy a poached eggs or smoothies for breakfast and vegetables, leafy greens, fish or chicken at lunch and dinner. </p> <p>Watch your portion sizes too, as all those stomach stretching Christmas goodies may leave you feeling like you need to keep shovelling to fill the void. High protein foods will help counter that urge by making you feel fuller faster. </p> <p><strong>Get active</strong></p> <p>The detox process is naturally aided by exercise too, since excretions such as sweating are the body’s natural way of detoxifying. Of course no one is going to feel like massive gym sessions and running marathons at this time of year, but more gentle options like Yoga and walking and cycling are ideal. Try to go for at least 30 minutes a day to help shed those yuletide kilos. Combined with good hydration and healthier eating and you will also benefit from a clearer head and a more positive outlook, which helps you stay on track too.</p> <p>Are you ready to combat the holiday binge? Leave a comment below.</p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/the-post-christmas-detox.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

"You will literally wait for hours!": Frustrated woman vents about husband's odd bathroom habit

<p>A woman has been left wondering whether she was in the right to complain about her husband’s odd bathroom habit.</p> <p>The wife and mother has been left frustrated by her partner, who would take over the house’s bathroom for anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours at a time.</p> <p>Writing on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/bbvgh2/aita_for_getting_pissy_about_my_husbands_bathroom/" target="_blank">Reddit</a>, the woman said the long bathroom breaks often kept her and her young son from using the loo when needed. </p> <p>“Fortunately, my son has a private little corner of our backyard where he can go relieve himself in emergencies, but it can be torture for myself or any other women stuck waiting to tinkle,” she shared.</p> <p>Explaining that the situation had been going on for years, she said the wait would be longer if her husband decided to take a shower after relieving himself. </p> <p>“You will literally wait for hours! I have finally got him to where he will unlock the door before he jumps in the shower so we can at least get in to relieve ourselves.”</p> <p>She suspected that her partner has not been using the bathroom for anything related to bodily functions. </p> <p>“I have to go in after him and a lot of time it doesn’t even smell! Zero evidence that he was ‘using the facilities’,” she vented.</p> <p>“I really don’t want to know what he does with his bathroom time, I just want him to be more respectful of the fact that other people have needs too!”</p> <p>Many people jumped in to reassure the woman that her concerns are valid. </p> <p>“That sounds excessive and rude. Is he reading? Needs a quiet place?” one commented. “Something is up!”</p> <p>Another wrote, “He’s being really inconsiderate ... and honestly it kinda sounds like he’s just chilling in there to avoid his childcare responsibilities.”</p> <p>The woman was also encouraged to address the issue with her husband. </p> <p>“I think you really ought to ask the reason,” one advised. “It’s possible he has a condition he’s embarrassed about that you could help him with. Or it’s possible he needs alone time and tries to get it this way. In any case, I don’t see this getting better without you insisting on getting the reason.”</p> <p>Another user chimed in, saying, “The fact that your son has learned to pee in the yard because daddy monopolizes the bathroom is shocking. That isn’t normal … What you are dealing with is really terrible and this isn’t going to be easy to fix. Counselling would be a good idea.”</p> <p>What do you think of the bathroom dilemma? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How to find strength in tough times

<p><span>There is an old saying – a cliché even – that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And this seems to be true when it comes to those who have survived tragedies.</span></p> <p><span>From the parents who lost their child in a horrifying horse accident, to the young man whose brother committed suicide, to the middle-aged woman who was held-up and raped at knifepoint, there can be strength in adversity.</span></p> <p><span>Susan was in her early 30s when she was held up by a knife-wielding man in a balaclava at her local railway station, then bound, gagged and raped in her car. It was a truly horrifying experience, but she says that the actual incident seemed surreal at the time. Normality in the weeks after the attack was harder to adjust to. <br /><br />Now 54, she says that the attack ended up framing who she became and what she achieved afterwards.<br /><br />“In some ways it helped to give me perspective,” she says. “I was working in a fairly superficial industry and people spent a lot of time gossiping about each other. After the attack it just seemed pointless. I had faced death and survived! Those petty grievances seemed so silly. I decided I wanted to make a difference with my life and I started doing lots of volunteer work. I was a voluntary counsellor for about 15 years afterwards.”<br /><br />Susan says that one person she met through her recovery process told her that most “great” people in history had encountered a life-threatening experience in their formative years – from Winston Churchill to Nelson Mandela, to Kerry Packer and Marie Curie – even Agatha Christie. This resonated with her.<br /><br />“This man had survived a horrific ocean storm on his yacht and almost drowned,” she says. “He said that surviving almost certain death changed him and made him feel like an outsider; and a little different to everyone else. It made him realise that life was short and he was stronger than he thought.<br /><br />“I decided then that I needed to be strong, to rise above my experience and to grow as a person. I didn’t want the person who attacked me to win.” <br /><br />Juliana Waugh was in her 40s when her daughter Sarah was tragically killed by fall from a horse while on a TAFE course in the NSW countryside. Understandably devastated by Sarah’s death, she and her husband Mark spent the next seven years fighting to change the laws around horses and inexperienced riders, a battle they eventually won.<br /><br />NSW now has a new Code of Practice to reduce work-related horse injuries, which came into effect on the February 1 2017.<br /> <br />Called the “Code of Practice for managing Risks when new or inexperienced riders or handlers interact with horses in the Workplace”, it is the first of its kind in Australia. <br /><br />“I knew I could never save Sarah but I truly believed that if I didn't fight on and do something – bring change that would be lasting – I was not a good mother because now I knew what was wrong I felt it was up to me,” says Juliana. “I was compelled so no other child would die like Sarah did.”<br /><br />Marshall Dunn’s brother Mitchell committed suicide in 2002 at the age of 26, a month before his own 21st birthday. The next few years were difficult and unbearably sad, but ultimately a period of growth and insight. <br /><br />Now a life coach and author, Marshall wrote a book about the process of coming to terms with Mitchell’s death, published in the form of the letters he wrote to his dead brother while he was grieving. Called <a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fletters-to-mitch-marshall-dunn%2Fprod9780998080901.html"><em>Letters to Mitch</em></a>, it takes readers through Marshall’s journey after his brother’s suicide and his path to healing.<br /><br />As he says in the introduction of the book, he now feels that Mitch “gave me the opportunity of a lifetime – the opportunity to know myself, something I might not have done if he hadn’t passed. These days, it gives me great pleasure to write, coach, speak, and connect with people from all over the world as I help them peel back the layers of their own suffering.” <br /><br />Marshall says that he hopes that sharing his story will help others to cope with “whatever curveball that life has thrown at you”. He is now completing his second book and has plans for a “self-help” novel.<br /><br />“There is an invitation there to question your place in the world and the gifts you have and how you want to live your life,” he says. </span></p> <p><span>“When you have an event like that that brings you to your knees, questions are going to come up and it is really going to be up to the individual and the choice they make. Whether they want to keep going down the path that that may not be serving the highest values and priorities or if they want to muster their courage and go in the direction that and investigate their inner landscape and start to heal areas of their life that need attention.” </span></p> <p><span>Need help? Call <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">Lifeline Australia</a> on 13 11 14 or visit <a href="http://www.thecompassionatefriends.org.au/">Compassionate Friends</a>.</span></p> <p><span>How have you coped with grief and adversity? Share your story in the comments section below.</span></p> <p><em><span>Written by Lynne Testoni. Republished with permission of </span></em><span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/strength-through-adversity.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></span></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

7 truths about the grieving process

<p>When journalist, author and therapist Andrew Marshall lost his partner after a gruelling illness, he kept a diary documenting that first grief-stricken year, the things he did to stay sane, and the surprising things he learned. Twenty years on, Andrew opens his diary in <a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fmy-mourning-year-andrew-marshall%2Fprod9781910453315.html">My Mourning Year</a>, and shares some universal lessons about grief with WYZA that he hopes might help others navigate their way through it.</p> <p><strong>1. Grieving is a kind of madness</strong></p> <p>“It exhausts you – and you feel like you’re the only one going completely mad. And in a strange sort of way you are, because the rest of the world is out there with their fingers in their ears, going ‘la la la la’ about it and not wanting to talk about death at all despite it being something that affects all of us. We don’t talk about it enough. Twenty years on, I’m happily married, but that loss is still a part of me. With anyone we lose – from lovers to grandparents – we sort of take them with us. And that’s comforting but also a bit complex and painful as well.”</p> <p><strong>2. The people who are there for you might not be the ones you’d expect</strong></p> <p>“That’s an incredibly comforting discovery. When you need them, if you let them, people will come into your life and give you the things that you need. It doesn’t really matter where the support comes from, but one of the things I’ve learned with the benefit of 20 years hindsight is it’s probably best not to get quite as upset with your family as I did because it’s not about you, it’s probably about them. And others arrive that will help you through it.”</p> <p><strong>3. Making big decisions in the first year is not a great idea </strong></p> <p>“I always tell clients, don’t move house, don’t have a new relationship in the first year – but I know men are more likely to. One of my friends lasted six months before he started dating after his wife died. As you can imagine, it was a complete and utter disaster, but I told him I thought he was pretty good lasting six months! But no, dating doesn’t help. It’s a distraction, but it’s better to face the madness and dive in rather than pretend it doesn’t exist.”</p> <p><strong>4. It’s okay to grieve in your own, unique way </strong></p> <p>“Forget ‘grief etiquette’; you’ve got to deal with it how you deal with it at the time. You’ll make mistakes and so will other people. And one of the worst things to do is to criticise yourself for ‘doing it wrong’. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no ‘right time’ by which to have moved on. Be compassionate with yourself.”</p> <p><strong>5. In a profound way, grief teaches you not to put things off </strong></p> <p>“I’ve learned over the years to have death as a constant companion and though it sounds kind of creepy, it has made me aware of my own mortality and it rather helps with the choices you make. You don’t put stuff off. You very much embrace that Latin idea of carpe diem and seizing the day.”</p> <p><strong>6. Honour milestones </strong></p> <p>“Especially the first year. On the anniversary, go out to lunch with a good friend. Talk about the person you’ve lost, if you want. Often hearing stories about him or her from someone else can be good, too. Even though they’re not [your] stories, it’s nice to hear them. And doing little things to honour that person is nice too – for me, it’s sometimes filling the house with daffodils around the time he died. But if you have a new partner, it can be a private thing, too.”</p> <p><strong>7. Do something that alleviates the loneliness </strong></p> <p>“In my case, it was dog-minding a crazy dog called Tyson, which I write about in the book. After my experiences with Tyson, I got a dog of my own and to this very day, going out and walking that dog is something that sort of keeps me sane. I was incredibly lonely, coming back to an empty house – it’s overwhelming. I had no structure to my life because I was freelance. But a dog gives you that. Dogs like a job, too – the dog I got after Tyson, his name was Flash and his job was to go everywhere with me. When you’re lost and alone, what could be better?”</p> <p>Have you lost someone close to you? What helped you get through it? Share your stories below. </p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/7-truths-about-the-grieving-process.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

The best diet to help improve gut health

<p>When it comes to gut health, information on what we should and shouldn’t be doing is kind of blurry. Should we drink kombucha? What should we be eating? Should you take that probiotic? You get the gist.</p> <p>But one thing that experts agree on is that the timing of our meals are just as important as the meal itself.</p> <p>A study conducted by the University of Southern California revealed that fasting can improve and manage chronic digestive diseases. Researchers believe that following a “fasting-mimicking” (FMD) diet – a program developed by Dr Valter Longo, author of <em>The Longevity Diet</em> – could be the answer to solving gut inflammation and easing symptoms of IBS, Chrons and colitis.</p> <p><strong>What is FMD?</strong></p> <p>Many eating plans work by placing restrictions on the amount of food you consume, but FMD focus more on calorie intake, so those following the plan won’t be going long periods of time without food. Experts studied mice after they minimised their calorie intake by half for a day, they then reduced it down further to 10 per cent of what they would normally eat.</p> <p>Results showed that during this “fasting” period, the mice obtained greater benefits when it came to their digestion.</p> <p>Another set of mice were only provided water throughout a 48-hour period, but researchers noticed no difference to their gut health. Which proves that when taken in small doses, nutrients are important to aid digestion.</p> <p>“It’s really remarkable, that in the past 100 years of research into calorie restriction, no one recognised the importance of re-feeding,” said Dr Longo <a href="https://news.usc.edu/154847/fasting-mimicking-diet-ibd-usc-stody/">of the study</a>. “Restriction is like a demolition where you take the building down. But you have to rebuild it. If you don’t do that, there’s no benefit. You are left with an empty lot, and what have you achieved?”</p> <p>The point? If you’re suffering from poor digestion, take a look at what you’re eating, and also when you’re eating it.</p> <p>Do you have any tips to help aid digestion? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

5 easy ways to reduce your salt intake

<p>If you think your salt intake isn’t an offensive amount then chances are, you may be wrong. Salt is sneaky, it hides away in food that is processed, in different condiments and your favourite meals that may be deemed as “healthy”.</p> <p>The good news is, it isn’t difficult to reduce our salt intake. Speaking to <a href="https://www.bhg.com.au/reduce-salt-intake?category=health"><em>Better Homes and Gardens</em></a>, dietitian Joel Feren said, “Salt – aka – sodium is a necessary nutrient. However, too much of it can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.</p> <p>“This is because it causes extra strain on your heart to effectively pump the blood around the body. So, reducing sodium in your diet can ease the pressure on your blood vessels and reduce the load on the heart.”</p> <p>According to the Heart Foundation, 75 per cent of our salt intake comes from processed foods, including sauces. Other culprits are chips, bacon, frozen meals, biscuits and cakes.</p> <p>Here’s 5 easy ways you can reduce your salt intake:</p> <p><strong>1. Know how to read labels</strong></p> <p>“Knowledge is power. If you know what’s in your food, you can make better and more informed choices about what to eat and what to leave on the supermarket shelf,” says Joel. “When it comes to sodium, choose products with less than 400mg per 100g. Better yet, select foods with less than 120mg of sodium per 100g for a gold medal winner.”</p> <p><strong>2. Try and eat natural foods</strong></p> <p>“Opting for low-processed foods is gold standard! Much of the sodium we consume is actually derived from processed foods,” says Joel. “Nevertheless, there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater so don’t give up healthy packaged foods like whole grain breakfast cereals and breads, tinned fish or canned lentils, but reduce your intake of chips, processed meats, pretzels etc.”</p> <p><strong>3. Use this chance to experience new flavours</strong></p> <p>“Experiment with herbs and spices to maximise flavour,” says Joel. “Well-established flavour combinations include tomato and basil, fish and lemon as well as pork and sage. Jazz it up and discover your own culinary partnerships.”</p> <p><strong>4. Up your fruit and veggie intake</strong></p> <p>It’s clear that Aussies don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. In fact, only 7 per cent of us meet our vegetable requirement and a little over half of us meet our fruit requirement each day,” says Joel. “Fruit and vegies contain a wide array of different nutrients, including potassium. This vital mineral opposes the actions of sodium so it can help reduce blood pressure and ease the load on our cardiovascular system.”</p> <p><strong>5. Switch to a healthier salt</strong></p> <p>“Ditch regular table salt for <a href="https://www.nepbio.com/collections/heart-salt">Heart SALT</a>! It has 56 per cent less sodium, making it a suitable alternative. Your heart and kidneys will thank you for making the change,” Joel tells <a href="https://www.bhg.com.au/reduce-salt-intake?category=health"><em>Better Homes and Gardens</em></a>.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Research shows weekly bottle of wine increases risk of cancer

<p>Bad news for wine drinkers. Research conducted by experts at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Bangor University and University of Southampton have discovered that women drinking one bottle of wine per week is equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes a week.</p> <p>The habit contributes to the risk of cancer. Men who drink one bottle of wine a week have an equal cancer risk of 5 cigarettes a week.</p> <p>The results were published in the <a href="https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-6576-9"><em>BMC Public Health medical journal</em></a>, which revealed that out of 1000 non-smoking women who indulged in wine, 14 developed cancer. The same applied to men.</p> <p>Dr Theresa Hyde, an author of the study wrote: “We must first be absolutely clear that this study is not saying that drinking alcohol in moderation is in any way equivalent to smoking.”</p> <p>She also clarifies that the study relates to those who drink one bottle of wine a week throughout their lifetime.</p> <p>Sophia Lowes, from Cancer Research UK told <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/weekly-bottle-of-wine-has-cancer-risk-of-up-to-10-cigarettes-11676929"><em>SkyNews</em></a> that, "Research is clear - the less a person drinks, the lower the risk of cancer. Small changes like having more alcohol-free days can make a big difference to how much you drink.”</p> <p>So, to put it simply, reduce the habit of smoking and drinking, and live a healthier life.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Why active people put on more weight than couch potatoes

<p>Governments are always telling us to eat less and exercise more to be healthier, but this presents an obvious problem. Being active is liable to make you hungrier, so there’s a risk you end up eating extra to compensate and putting on more weight than if you’d never got off the sofa in the first place.</p> <p>Dieticians dream of the day when they can design diets for people where they are more active but don’t get hungry in the process. Unfortunately, it’s trickier than you might think: We’re still searching for the mechanism that governs how the energy we expend translates into our level of appetite. And as we shall see, that’s by no means the only thing that makes this area complicated.</p> <p>In an ideal world, the human body would be wired to immediately detect changes in the amount of energy we use and then give us the appetite to eat the right amount to balance it out. Alas not: we all get hungry two or three times a day, sometimes more, regardless of what we are getting up to. Our bodies also release far stronger signals about our appetite when we haven’t eaten enough than when we’ve eaten too much. This poor daily feedback relationship helps to explain why obese people still experience strong feelings of hunger – that and all the cheap calorie-dense food that is widely available, of course.</p> <p><strong>Mysteries of appetite</strong></p> <p>There is much that we don’t understand about the effect of increased activity. Most of us burn different amounts of calories on different days – gym-goers have days off, while everyone has days where they walk round more shops, do more housework or whatever.</p> <p>Studies don’t find any clear relationship between these variations and the amount of food that the average person consumes on the day in question. But neither is it easy to say anything definitive. Most research has focused on people doing aerobic exercise, and has found, for instance, that while some highly trained and lean people tend to eat the right amount to compensate for the extra calories they burn, overweight people are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30777142">more prone</a> to over-eat.</p> <p>What could lie behind this difference? One possibility is that physiological processes change in people who do more exercise – for instance, their gut hormones might be released in different concentrations when they eat, potentially with a bearing on how much food they need.</p> <p>One longstanding question, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3055144">dating back</a> some <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13250128">60 years</a>, is where metabolism fits into the picture. Some <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23193010">important work</a> published in 2013 by a team in Leeds found that overweight people were hungrier and consumed more calories than thinner people. Since overweight people have a higher <a href="https://www.verywellfit.com/metabolism-facts-101-3495605">resting metabolic rate</a> – the rate at which the body burns energy while at rest – the group proposed that there was a correlation between this rate and the size of meals that people eat. The fact that people’s resting metabolic rates are stable, regardless of fluctuations in daily exercise, might help explain why exercise levels often have no bearing on how much we eat on the same day.</p> <p>Yet this doesn’t mean that resting metabolic rate actually determines how much food we eat. The team proposed that a person’s body composition, specifically their amount of muscle mass, might be governing their metabolic rate. If so, the metabolic rate might just be acting as an intermediary – routing the information about body composition through hypothalamic networks in the brain, which are believed to control appetite. Either way, this still needs further research.</p> <p><strong>Our study</strong></p> <p>To examine what happens in the real-life situation, rather than the lab setting, I’ve co-authored a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30659256">new study</a> that looks at what happens to people’s calorie intake on days when they are more active without deliberately taking exercise – this could be anything from a trip to the dentist to a day out at the beach with the children. We looked at 242 individuals – 114 men and 128 women. We found that their amount of activity did have a bearing on how much they ate, but that their resting metabolic rates influenced their appetites as well – in other words, overweight people tended to eat more.</p> <p>This is another step forward in understanding the relationship between activity and the calories we consume. But don’t expect this to translate into a magic formula for optimising everyone’s relationship with activity and food any time soon. There are many variables that have barely been taken into account by researchers. Most work has tended to focus on white men aged 20-30, for instance, yet there is evidence that women are more prone to compensate for extra physical activity by eating.</p> <p>Equally, different genetic characteristics are likely to be important – some people are more fidgety, for instance. Then there are differences in people’s psychology and to what extent they use food as a reward. People who have been losing or gaining weight will have different appetite signals to people whose weight is stable. The time of the activity in the course of the day is likely to make a difference, too.</p> <p>I doubt that in my lifetime we will reach a point where we can look at any person’s entire genetic make-up and tell them exactly what will work for them. What we can say from our study is that many people are liable to eat more when they are more active. Just moving more will not lead to spontaneously losing weight - people should be aware of this and watch how much extra they eat as a result.</p> <p><em>Written by Alex Johnstone. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-exercise-conundrum-sometimes-active-people-put-on-more-weight-than-couch-potatoes-heres-why-114251"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Health check: Do cold showers cool you down?

<p>It’s normal to feel hot, sweaty and uncomfortable in warm weather, but what’s the best way to cool down? To answer this question, we first need to look at how the body maintains stable internal (core) temperature.</p> <p>We feel uncomfortable at hot environmental (ambient) temperatures because our bodies are striving to maintain a constant core temperature. When the ambient temperature is too high, we engage in reflexive (things our nervous system does without us realising) and behavioural (things we do) adaptations to try to cool ourselves. The discomfort we feel is the motivation for the behavioural adjustments. Many of us just want to jump in a cold shower. So will this help to cool us down?</p> <p>From the physiological perspective, core temperature is what our body is regulating. Small changes in core temperature can quickly lead to illness (such as heat exhaustion, fever and heat stroke). We are not consciously aware of our core body temperature. Although the body has sensors that monitor core body temperature, our perception of temperature comes exclusively from skin temperature sensors (temperature receptors). These allow us to sense if we are cold, comfortable or hot.</p> <p>Human biology is remarkable; we maintain a relatively stable core body temperature over a wide range of ambient temperatures. For instance, core body temperature only differs by 0.5⁰C over a wide ambient temperature range (as wide as <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00484-013-0673-8">12-48⁰C</a>). The body’s ability to restrict core temperature to such a tight range means reflexes to control core temperature need to occur before there is an actual change in core temperature.</p> <p>Controlling blood flow to the skin is an important way of controlling internal body temperature. The circulatory system moves blood around the body; it also transports heat around the body, so changing where the blood flows allows the body to determine where the heat goes. With reduced blood flow to the skin, heat is conserved in the body, and with increased blood flow to skin, heat is lost to the environment.</p> <p>In cold environments, there is almost no blood flow to the skin to keep all the heat in (which is why we get frostbite). This is why, when we’re very cold, our skin is pallid and pale. At hot ambient temperatures, skin blood flow can increase to as much as seven litres per minute to try to expel all the heat through the skin. This is <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra011089">a 23-fold increase</a> to normal, and about 35% of the total volume of blood volume pumped from the heart. This is why, when we’re hot, we can appear flushed.</p> <p>The exquisite control of blood flow to the skin means there is an optimum ambient temperature (known as thermoneutral), where the body does not engage in any regulatory activity to maintain core temperature. This occurs when the skin blood flow is <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566070216300029">about 300mL a minute</a>.</p> <p>Other mechanisms for temperature control are quite different. In cold environments, the body increases heat generation to <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566070216300157">maintain core temperature</a>. One method is to move the muscles to heat them up (shivering thermogenesis); another is to speed up metabolism to produce more heat (non-shivering thermogenesis).</p> <p>In hot environments, when air temperature is higher than skin temperature (above roughly 33⁰C), heat loss only takes place with sweating. When sweat evaporates off our skin, it <a href="http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/255016/evaporation-of-water">has a cooling effect</a>. Sweating, or wet skin, can increase the amount of heat lost from the body by as much as <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0013935167900023">ten times</a>.</p> <p>Given free range, animals will spend most of their time in a <a href="http://jap.physiology.org/content/92/6/2667">thermoneutral environment</a>, where they are most comfortable (the comfort zone). Humans are most comfortable (thermoneutral) <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0013935167900023">at an ambient temperature of about 28⁰C</a> (and a skin temperature of 29-33⁰C). The further we are away from that temperature (either cold or warm), the more uncomfortable we feel.</p> <p><strong>The verdict</strong></p> <p>Our bodies respond more to changes in skin temperature <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290547/">than core temperature</a>. So, if we cool part of the body (for instance with a cold sponge, or cold shower), skin blood flow decreases and <a href="https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/physiolsci/57/4/57_4_241/_article">skin temperature falls</a>.</p> <p>Here we “feel” cooler because cold water causes cold temperature receptor activation in the skin. We may also feel more comfortable, as our skin temperature enters the comfort zone. But because there is less blood flowing to the skin, we’ll actually keep more heat inside, thus leading to an unintended overall increase in core temperature.</p> <p>A cold shower to “cool off” might seem a good immediate choice. We feel cooler because of the combination of the cold water and the decreased blood flow to the skin, but in fact our core will get warmer because of reduced heat loss from the body without skin blood flow. Some minutes later, we feel hot again. But a warm sensation on the skin will lead to increased blood flow to the skin, increasing heat loss from the body.</p> <p>So, keeping cool in summer will be more effective with a warm shower (water temperature about 33⁰C) rather than a cold shower (water temperature 20-25⁰C). It will seem warm initially but after a few minutes will provide better comfort in the long term.</p> <p><em>Written by Yossi Rathner, Joshua Luke Ameliorate and Mark Schier. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-do-cold-showers-cool-you-down-71004"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Everything you need to know about drinking water

<p>The next time you drink water, pay attention to how your body responds to the temperature. Whether you prefer room temperature, warm or cold water, there’s a reason behind your chosen preference.</p> <p>The stomach responds differently to each temperature of water, which in turn, can affect how your digestive system operates. While water is good for you no matter the temp, in some instances there is a higher chance of headaches or circulation issues when preferring one type of water over the other.</p> <p>“All water is good,” Dr. Jill Blakeway, a licenced and board-certified doctor of acupuncture tells <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/7-shocking-facts-about-drinking-water-cold-vs-room-temperature-16172451"><em>Bustle</em></a>. “Cold water is refreshing and cooling. It’s great on a hot day and a good choice after exercise.”</p> <p>But you can carry on drinking the temperature you prefer. “Drinking warm water may be better in some instances where as drinking cold water might also be more beneficial,” dietician Vanessa Rissetto tells <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/7-shocking-facts-about-drinking-water-cold-vs-room-temperature-16172451"><em>Bustle</em></a>. “It really boils down to preference and what you feel might be right for you.”</p> <p>Here are 4 facts on cold versus room temperature water.</p> <p><strong>1. Room temperature water makes you less thirsty</strong></p> <p>Ever drink an entire litre of cold water in one hit but still find yourself feeling parched? Try room temp water instead. The warmer the water, the quicker it will quench your thirst. “This can be dangerous on days when your body is losing water through sweating to try to keep cool,” said Rissetto. “If you do opt to drink warm water, be aware that you may not feel thirsty as often as you should.”</p> <p><strong>2. Cold water is good for you after an intense workout</strong></p> <p>Water at any temperature will help you stay hydrated after a workout, but cold water in particular is a great idea if you’re feeling a little overheated. “Cold water is cooling so it can be helpful during exercise or when you are overheated,” said Dr. Blakeway.</p> <p><strong>3. Digestion problems? Drink room temperature water</strong></p> <p>If you find your digestive system isn’t working as well as it should, drinking a glass of room temperature or warm water will help aid feelings of heaviness. “In Chinese medicine we advocate drinking warm water because of its effect on the digestive system,” said Dr. Blakeway. “Drinking cold water can congeal the fats in food and because of that can make the digestive system sluggish.”</p> <p><strong>4. Cold water can be the reason behind your headache</strong></p> <p>Find yourself dealing with a splitting headache that came about with zero explanation? Could be the freezing cold water you’re drinking. The cooler the water, the higher chances of headaches and even migraines.</p> <p>What temperature of water do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How to stay happy and healthy over 65

<p><span>There's no magic formula to ensure that you'll stay happy and healthy, but you have a lot of control over how you feel during your senior years. One key is to keep learning about new things. You'll have more satisfaction in life if you also take good care of yourself physically and emotionally. Make room for the things that are important to you and let things go if they're not giving you joy. Stay open to new experiences and keep your friends and loved ones close. Here are some tips to help you enjoy life more after age 65.</span></p> <p><strong><span>1. Never stop learning</span></strong></p> <p><span>Does this sound familiar? It's certainly an old adage when it comes to staying youthful in your senior years. Learning doesn't just mean taking classes, although there are plenty of <a href="https://ala.asn.au/lifelong-learning-communities/">opportunities for seniors to learn</a> in a classroom setting. Age is no barrier when it comes to gaining knowledge about things that interest you. Have you ever thought about doing something new like taking sailing lessons or creating pottery? There's no reason not to, and every reason to go for it.</span></p> <p><span>Staying active in mind and body will help keep your life interesting and fulfilling. Simple pleasures like reading, doing crossword puzzles and playing board games will challenge your wits, and outdoor activities are a great way to meet others and learn new skills. People who lead busy, active lives tend to have a happier outlook on life.</span></p> <p><strong><span>2. Practice self-care</span></strong></p> <p><span>Self-care is more than just a trendy buzzword for the younger generation. It's basically the same thing as self-regard or self-love. Many of us are so focused on caring for our spouses, family and friends that we forget to give ourselves the same consideration. Remember to plan something just for your own enjoyment once or twice a week, if not more. Take a long soak in the tub with scented bath salts, work on your latest project, or treat yourself to a movie at the local theatre.</span></p> <p><span>Self-care can also be as simple as taking a nap or curling up with your current favourite novel and a cup of tea. In addition to <a href="https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/for-the-sector/self-care">reducing stress and adding relaxation</a> to your life, doing things for yourself allows you to be more attentive to loved ones. Think of your emotional health as a bucket of water: if you don't add to the volume by taking care of yourself, there won't be anything left to give to others.</span></p> <p><strong><span>3. Look out for your health</span></strong></p> <p><span>Give plenty of attention to eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Making healthy food choices doesn't mean subsisting on bran and carrot sticks. You can prepare meals and snacks that are not only healthy but also tasty and satisfying. A sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to your health, and it can lead to incremental weight gain that sneaks up on you. Simply walking a few blocks each day will get your circulation going and make you feel more energetic. Dancing and bicycling are a couple of other fun activities that will get your heart pumping and strengthen your muscles.</span></p> <p><span>Be sure to make appointments for regular health checkups and follow advice from your doctor. Take advantage of the resources you have for maintaining good health. Continue to invest in private health insurance to give yourself options if you do fall ill or need surgery. Choosing your doctor and opting for a private hospital stay when it's needed are two of the most valuable benefits of private health care. You can use <a href="https://membersown.com.au/">Members Own</a> to compare terms and find the healthcare plan that's right for you.</span></p> <p><strong><span>4. Downsize your life</span></strong></p> <p><span>Downsizing is a catch-all word that can apply to a lot of things. For many of us, the senior years are a time to consider trading a large home for a smaller one with less maintenance. Regardless of the size of your home though, you can probably benefit from going through all your belongings and getting rid of the things you don't use. Decluttering your living space not only makes your surroundings more pleasant, but it gives you fewer things to dust and clean.</span></p> <p><span>If you enjoy travelling, you may even want to downsize to a small apartment and invest in a travel camper. This is an option for many seniors who decide to use their resources to visit friends and family while seeing as much of the country as they can. It's especially a boon when grown children and grandkids live far away. Retirement is the time to focus on getting the most you can out of life, not take care of excess possessions or a labour-intensive home.</span></p> <p><strong><span>5. Try new things</span></strong></p> <p><span>This is a lot like the prescription to keep learning because it encourages you to stay open to experiences that can enrich your life. There's always something new to explore, even right in your own town. Universities host lectures that are open to the public on a wide variety of subjects from astronomy to zoology, and they often invite authors to speak on campus. It can be fun and enlightening to visit the places in your town that draw tourists. You may have gotten so accustomed to nearby interesting sights and experiences that you've forgotten they're right under your nose.</span></p> <p><strong><span>6. Strengthen relationships</span></strong></p> <p><span>People can feel lonely as they get older. Friends move away and sometimes we lose them to illness or death. Don't let yourself become isolated. Having friends makes a major difference in the quality of life, and you're never too old to make new ones. You can find friends at shared activities, volunteer opportunities and any place where you spend a lot of time. Arrange quality experiences with your family, too. Don't wait for them to visit but suggest activities you both would enjoy doing together.</span></p> <p><span>Once you believe you've seen it all, life can seem pretty boring. Try to cultivate a child's sense of adventure and wonder at what the world has to offer, and you'll never run out of things to explore. In many ways, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/lifespan-perspectives/201810/feeling-old-what-do-you-mean">age is a state of mind</a>. As long as you're open to new experiences and relationships, you'll give proof to another old adage, "You're as young as you feel."</span></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Could this be the end for Serena Williams?

<p>The future of Serena Williams’ tennis career is in the clouds as reports claim that insiders are doubting the 23-time grand slam champion.</p> <p>Despite remaining the most feared player in the women’s game, the 37-year-old has had a string of failures lately after being unable to reach the historic haul of 24 major titles since the birth of her first child, Alexis Olympia.</p> <p>Her Australian Open victory in 2017 was followed by a temporary retirement announcement as she prepared for the birth of her daughter.</p> <p>And while she’s come close to obtaining titles since her return, her inability to do so has been blamed on her absence, which is said to have created a period of unprecedented unpredictability.</p> <p>The tennis legend has returned to the WTA Tour full time, but regardless, in 2019, 13 WTA tournaments have been won by 13 different players – none of them being Williams.</p> <p>And her performance has not gone by unnoticed according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/" target="_blank">The Times’</a> </em>Stuart Fraser.</p> <p>The report alleges that many important figures in the tennis world have responded saying “the end of Williams’ domination” after they were questioned over the unpredictability of women’s matches.</p> <p>“The women’s game has been pretty open for a while since Serena had her child,” said Nigel Sears, a veteran coach on the WTA Tour.</p> <p>“Serena was the last one to dominate. Beneath her it was becoming more and more competitive. It is wide open now. Anyone can win this tournament.</p> <p>“The overall depth in the women’s game has improved considerably. The quality goes deeper than it had done before. The seeds used to dominate the early rounds until fairly recently. Now it is really, really competitive.</p> <p>“Some of the older players are playing better for longer and they are fitter. On top of that, you have the influx of youngsters, a new brand of players coming through. It has toughened up both sides.”</p> <p>After a number of underwhelming performances, it seems as if Williams' body is starting to act like one of a 38-year-old who just recently had a child.</p> <p>At the Miami Open and Indian Wells, the once world No. 1 was forced to retire on both occasions.</p> <p>According to the mother-of-one, she was forced to drop out of the competition due to an undisclosed knee injury.</p> <p>The decision came as a surprise to many, as a day earlier, she showed no signs of an injury during a stunning win against Rebecca Peterson, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.</p> <p>During a news conference after the match, Williams made no mention of the injury, and the WTA had no information regarding when she was hurt.</p> <p>Her time at the tournament last year was also short-lived after her defeat against Naomi Osaka. Friday marked Williams’ first match after she retired at Indian Wells two weeks ago due to a viral illness.</p> <p>The American has only played eight matches this year and has failed to bring home a win since the 2017 Australian Open.</p> <p>The win on Friday was her first in Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. If she chose not to retire, she would have faced No. 18-seeded Qiang Wang.</p> <p>“I am disappointed to withdraw,” said Williams in a statement.</p> <p>“It was an amazing experience to play at Hard Rock Stadium this year, and I would like to thank the Miami Open for putting on an amazing event. I hope to be back next year to play at this one-of-a-kind tournament in front of the incredible fans here in Miami.”</p> <p>Do you think this is the end for Serena Williams? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Boost your brain health at any age

<p>When it comes to maintaining your brain’s health, the adage “use it or lose it” has never been truer.</p> <p>Advances in science and medicine mean we now understand far more about how the brain works than we ever have, and while there's still a long way to go, researchers are learning that healthy brain habits can contribute to living a long, productive and prosperous life.</p> <p>Author of <em>The Brain Book</em> Dr John Hart says we don't have to accept that our brain function will break down, simply because, that’s what happens as you get older. In fact, he believes that there's a lot we can do to help our “noggin” function like a well-oiled machine at any age. </p> <p>“When you get a brand new car, you don’t have to take it to the mechanic because it runs perfectly. Our brain is like that when we’re in our 20s. But after, say, 50 years, you might take it back to the mechanic and say, ‘Can you fix it? There’s a lot wrong with it’. As you get older, Mother Nature does less for you,” he explains.</p> <p>He says that’s why we have to work much harder – and challenge ourselves more – to keep our grey matter in excellent shape.</p> <p>While you can’t regrow dead brain cells (we lose about 8000 nerve cells a day), Dr Hart explains that you can repair “sick” cells. That's because up to 90 per cent of our brain ageing is caused by environmental and lifestyle factors, and these can be tweaked and improved upon.</p> <p>So, what are the signs that our cells need repair? According to Dr Hart, your brain signals it is unwell when it manifests “mood disorders” such as: irritability, depression, brain fog, anxiety, poor concentration and memory.</p> <p>“As you get older, you have to look at the big picture when it comes to your health. So not just at your physical wellbeing, but also your brain health and see whether what you’re doing is working to give yourself the best chance of avoiding common degenerative illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” he says. </p> <p>But, rather than fret that it’s too late to do anything, Dr Hart, who works in the field of longevity, age reversal, exercise physiology and nutrition, says we can all work on improving our brain health quite easily. He says if we do certain things every day (see five tips below), this will go a long way to shifting our brain from being sluggish to speeding along – or firing – very nicely.</p> <p><strong>Healthy habits that improve brain function</strong></p> <ul> <li>Step outside and spend an hour in the early morning sun</li> <li>Eat a healthy diet low in processed foods</li> <li>Move your body regularly and sit for fewer than three hours</li> <li>Have fun and enjoy life, and</li> <li>Make sure you sleep about 7 to 8 hours uninterrupted every night.</li> </ul> <p>All these contribute toward your body getting rid of stress, chronic infections and environmental toxins. “For most people, they need to put in more of the good stuff and take out more of the bad stuff, that’s the way forward,” he says.</p> <p>Some of the “bad stuff” includes being overweight, poor diet, smoking, recreational drugs, and something you may not have thought of: Poor gut health.</p> <p>“If you experience symptoms like bloating and farting, your gut may be inflamed. The health of your gut is crucial to the health of your body,” he says. “If you have concerns about this, there are tests that can show if you have a ‘leaky gut’.”</p> <p>Dr Hart says quality sleep is crucial because this is when most of our tissue repair occurs. “Your body does degenerate during the course of each day, that’s why you get tired by the end of the day,” he explains. “At night, your body goes into repair mode. Everything you can do to improve that regeneration process helps the brain.”</p> <p>While it is valuable to learn a new skill, do a brain teaser like the cryptic crossword, travel widely, broaden your social network or challenge yourself with brain training games, Dr Hart says none of these work on their own.</p> <p>“You need to be aware that everything you do contributes, nothing is in isolation so there is not one thing you can do to improve your brain’s function,” he says.</p> <p>“Find ways to challenge yourself, ‘stretch’ the most important organ in your body. Find a person with a brain that is better than yours. Admire it.</p> <p>“Try not to do the same thing over and over again, mix it up. People don’t have to be set in their ways.”</p> <p>Dr Hart says it’s also vital to focus on the good things in your life and maintain strong emotional connections with family, partners and friends. By encouraging positive experiences in our lives, our grey matter will respond accordingly. “Avoid negative people and situations,” he says. “Maintain loving relationships, remember to laugh a lot, forgive someone you’ve had a grudge against, practice gratitude, take up meditation, avoid being socially isolated,” he adds.</p> <p>And while a lot of people worry about forgetfulness and memory lapses as we age, Dr Hart says there is no need to worry if we learn as a society to shift our focus. He believes we need to change how we view “normal health” and rather aim for “optimal health”.</p> <p>“Normal is what everybody else is doing,” he says. “You can choose to be that, or you can choose to be someone who strives for optimal health. You can train your brain to be at its optimal best by doing all the positive, healthy things I’ve outlined,” he says. “It really is a case of healthy body, healthy mind.”</p> <p>Have you tried any of the healthy brain options Dr Hart has recommended? Let us know in the comments section below.</p> <p><em>Written by Robin Hill. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/boost-your-brain-health-at-any-age.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Not everyone is beautiful – but that’s okay

<p>You probably aren’t beautiful. It’s statistical, not personal.</p> <p>Most of us are average, a few of us are ugly, and a tiny number of us are beautiful or handsome.</p> <p>Many of us struggle with our own attractiveness, and in particular, the idea that we don’t have enough of it. <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13284200601178532#preview">Research suggests</a> that <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S147101531400052X">body dissatisfaction</a>, or not liking one’s body, is a major concern for both men and women. And the pursuit of a more attractive body, if manifested as a <a href="http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/943">drive for thinness</a> or a drive for muscularity, is a big risk factor for the <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0001541">development of eating disorders</a> and <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.20828/abstract">muscle dysmorphia</a>, both which are on the rise in Australia.</p> <p>Who do we blame? <a href="http://public.gettysburg.edu/~cbarlett/index/08BVS.pdf">The media</a>, unsurprisingly, among a host of <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/134/3/460/">potential culprits</a>.</p> <p>In the absence of population-level interventions to improve our body image, social media and corporations have filled the void.</p> <p>Tumblr and Instagram are replete with images and words that “everyone is beautiful”, that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, that “beauty is only skin-deep”.</p> <p>Dove, in marketing their beauty products predominantly to women, state their mission to create “a new definition of beauty [which] will free women from self-doubt and encourage them to embrace their real beauty”.</p> <p>These messages are comforting and appealing, but are they backed up by evidence?</p> <p><strong>Myths and maxims of beauty</strong></p> <p>Consider the sentiment, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, which suggests beauty is subjective.</p> <p>Data suggests that people are remarkably consistent in their <a href="http://jonathanstray.com/papers/Langlois.pdf">determination of who is attractive</a> and who isn’t, both within and across cultures. That’s not to say that subjectivity plays no role at all – as we’re all guided by our individually formed preferences – but that the scope for subjectivity exists within the narrow confines of the objective traits of physical beauty.</p> <p>What about “beauty is only skin-deep”, or in other words, that a person’s appearance has no bearing on their personality or behaviour?</p> <p>It does. <a href="http://www4.uwsp.edu/psych/s/389/dion72.pdf">“What is beautiful is good”</a>, according to a group of oft-cited psychologists in their seminal 1972 paper that explored this very idea. Decades later, we know beautiful people are not only just thought of as “good”. Attractive people are also <a href="http://jonathanstray.com/papers/Langlois.pdf">considered more intelligent</a>, sociable, trustworthy, honest, capable, competent, likable, and friendly.</p> <p><strong>So, what should we do?</strong></p> <p>We could attempt to convince people that they are beautiful. We could attempt to redefine beauty standards to be broader and encompassing of more people, thus allowing more people to belong to the beautiful club. But these strategies won’t work because they don’t reduce the importance ascribed to beauty in the first place.</p> <p>We could preach the platitude that beauty is simply unimportant, but this is wholly inconsistent with the data.</p> <p>We ought to be balanced in our approach to beauty – that it is important, but not as important as the media makes it out to be.</p> <p>The media will encourage you to base a disproportionate amount of your self-esteem on your and others’ positive evaluations of your external appearance. For some, this harmful tendency stems from family, friends, and partners.</p> <p>Understand that you are complex and multifaceted. The sources from which you derive your self-esteem and self-worth must be similarly diverse. What can you do with your body? What can your brain do? Are you intelligent, creative, funny, athletic, caring, a hard worker, a great cook, a great mother or father?</p> <p>Consciously placing less importance on physical attractiveness and diversifying sources of self-esteem won’t be easy. For some, the process will be extremely difficult, and it may be wise to seek the advice of a psychologist.</p> <p>A generous dose of scepticism is also needed, particularly toward campaigns spearheaded by the beauty industry – especially when these advertisements mask their commercial intentions under the guise of “feel-good” benevolence.</p> <p>Don’t be too disheartened that you’re not beautiful; not many people are. Cultivate your self-esteem elsewhere. You’ll feel better for it.</p> <p>This article was co-authored by Sangwon Lee, undergraduate LLB/BA candidate at the University of Queensland.</p> <p><em>Written by Scott Griffiths. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/not-everyone-is-beautiful-35915"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Why panic attacks aren’t a reason to panic

<p>Panic attacks typically occur when a person is under stress. The stress can be physical, like being run down, or emotional, like a significant life change.</p> <p>Panic attacks are a relatively common experience with as many as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5143159/">one in seven</a> people experiencing them at least once. A little more than half of those people will have repeated panic attacks.</p> <p>Our understanding of panic attacks has changed over time, but we’ve now come to a good understanding of what panic attacks are and how we can help those who experience them.</p> <p>It’s important to understand that panic attacks are a physiological expression of anxiety, and not intrinsically dangerous. The symptoms are the body’s natural way of coping with perceived threats.</p> <p><strong>A build-up of stress</strong></p> <p>Panic attacks are typically experienced as time-limited episodes of intense anxiety.</p> <p>The effects of stress can accumulate slowly, and a person is unlikely to be aware of the extent of their stress until a panic attack occurs.</p> <p>Panic attacks often appear to arise for no apparent reason. They can occur anywhere and at any time, including at night, when the person has been asleep.</p> <p>Panic attacks often have a very abrupt onset and usually resolve over the course of minutes rather than hours.</p> <p>They are often, but not always, experienced as physical symptoms, such as rapid or skipped heartbeat, difficulty breathing and tightness in the chest, dizziness, muscular tension and sweating.</p> <p>When someone experiences a panic attack there is also an emotional response which is driven by perceptions of threat or danger. If the person doesn’t know why a panic attack is happening, or perceives it as something more sinister, they are likely to feel more anxious.</p> <p><strong>Are panic attacks dangerous?</strong></p> <p>Panic attacks are not dangerous in and of themselves. They are simply intense anxiety, and the symptoms are real expressions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activating and regulating.</p> <p>An increase in heart rate occurs to improve the delivery of oxygen to our muscles to prepare for action like fight or flight. More oxygen is therefore needed, and so breathing rate is increased, resulting in a sense of breathlessness and tightness in the chest.</p> <p>As oxygen is directed to the core and muscles, supply can proportionately decrease to the head, leading to symptoms of dizziness.</p> <p>The expression of these symptoms will self-regulate, so all panic attacks will cease. However, the residual effects of the body’s chemical messengers, adrenaline and noradrenaline, take some time to “wash out”. So it’s likely that after a panic attack the person will still feel some anxiety.</p> <p>Again, this serves the function of having the body be prepared to reactivate for any other perceived or real threat. It’s also understandable that after this experience the person will feel tired and drained.</p> <p>So if you have a panic attack, while unpleasant, it isn’t necessarily a sign that you need to seek help. It may be that through reflection you can use the panic attack as a signal to examine what is happening to lead to the physical or emotional stress in your life, and perhaps make some changes.</p> <p><strong>When should you seek help?</strong></p> <p>A small portion of people (1.7%) who experience panic attacks <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5143159/">may go on to develop a panic disorder</a>.</p> <p>Panic attacks may become frequent and lead a person to avoid situations they perceive as high risk.</p> <p>In this case the panic attacks become a panic disorder, and it would be useful to seek expert help from a registered mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.</p> <p>The <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0004867418799453">most effective treatment</a> for panic disorder is psychological therapy (cognitive behaviour therapy) with or without antidepressants.</p> <p><strong>What can I do to help a friend?</strong></p> <p>If you see someone having a panic attack, try not to “feed the fear” by responding with anxiety or fear. Remember and calmly remind the person that while the experience is unpleasant, it is not dangerous and will pass.</p> <p>Perhaps the most useful thing to do for someone having a panic attack will be to help to re-focus their mind, away from the thoughts that are causing stress.</p> <p>But you can also give them a sense of control over the physical effects of the attack. This can be done by helping to slow and pace the person’s breathing. There are many variations of this process, but one example is to calmly ask the person to breathe in for four seconds, hold their breath for two seconds, and then breathe out slowly over six seconds.</p> <p>You can quietly count the seconds with the person and repeat the procedure for a minute or so, or as needed.</p> <p><em>Written by Justin Kenardy. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/panic-attacks-arent-necessarily-a-reason-to-panic-they-are-your-bodys-way-of-responding-to-stress-111174"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Man develops deadly brain infection after cleaning ear with cotton buds

<p>It’s hard to resist the temptation to clean the insides of our ears with cotton buds, despite warnings on the label and health experts telling us otherwise. However, this near-fatal case may change your mind.</p> <p>An English man has sworn off cleaning his ears with cotton swabs after developing an infection that spread from his hearing to the lining of his brain.</p> <p>The 31-year-old man began developing the infection after the tip of a cotton bud he used got stuck in his ear canal, according to a case published in <a rel="noopener" href="https://casereports.bmj.com/content/12/3/e227971" target="_blank">BMJ Case Reports</a> earlier this month.</p> <p>He was experiencing seizures, headaches, ear pain and discharge before being rushed to hospital, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.livescience.com/64958-cotton-swab-ear-infection.html" target="_blank"><em>Live Science</em></a> reported.</p> <p>The small amount of cotton left turned out to trap debris and induce a severe bacterial infection that progressed to the base of his skull and moved into the lining of his brain, said lead author Dr. Alexander Charlton, a member of the team of ear, nose and throat specialists involved in the man's treatment at University Hospital Coventry in England.</p> <p>Fortunately, Charlton and other doctors were able to remove the debris through a minor surgery. The patient was found to have necrotizing otitis externa, an infection in the soft tissue of the area from the outside of the ear to the eardrum. After almost a week in hospital, the man is expected to be free from long-term hearing issues.</p> <p>However, he was ordered by Charlton not to use cotton buds in his ears anymore, as the doctor said they have been linked to infections and punctured ear drums. "They can only cause problems," Charlton said.</p> <p>Health practitioners acknowledge that cotton buds are a popular ear-cleaning tool among the laymen. "I think that most people will have used them at some stage," Dr Joe Kosterich told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.myvmc.com/videos/ear-health/" target="_blank">Virtual Medical Centre</a>.</p> <p>"In fact, they are something that shouldn’t be used. We think of them as being soft, but when you press on a cotton wool bud, they’re not actually all that soft. It is possible to perforate the eardrum with them."</p> <p>Ana Kim, MD, the director of Otologic Research at Columbia University Medical Centre also said removing ear wax might make ears more prone to infection. "It keeps the outer ear canal skin moist, allowing for the skin cells to be healthy and enabling the cells to continue shedding skin debris," she told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.businessinsider.sg/seizure-brain-infection-after-using-a-cotton-swab-2019-3/" target="_blank">INSIDER</a>.</em></p> <p>Do you use cotton buds regularly? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

“I can’t breathe”: Serena Williams forced to retire after terrifying health scare

<p>Serena Williams has been forced to retire from her third-round match at Indian Wells Masters after a frightening health scare that left her with “extreme dizziness".</p> <p>The 23-time Grand Slam Champion won the first three games of her highly anticipated clash with Garbine Muguruza in the California desert.</p> <p>She took the court for the second set, but soon complained of feeling ill as the match continued.</p> <p>She lost the next six games and decided to call it a day when she was trailing 3-6 0-1.</p> <p>Tournament organisers took to Twitter to explain the 37-year-old was suffering from a “viral illness".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Feel better soon! <br /><br />Serena Williams' third round retirement was due to viral illness.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BNPPO19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BNPPO19</a> <a href="https://t.co/mpBNT0snHu">pic.twitter.com/mpBNT0snHu</a></p> — BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) <a href="https://twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN/status/1104886929403785216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“I’ve never seen her like that,” one commentator said.</p> <p>“It’s so, so rare that she ever retires from a tennis match.”</p> <p>The tournament was the sixth time Williams and Muguruza came face-to-face on court.</p> <p>The last two clashes were grand slam finals which saw Williams winning at Wimbledon in 2015 and Muguruza taking home the 2016 French Open crown.</p> <p>"We've played many times and it's always super-tough, super-exciting," said Muguruza, who is a former world number one like Williams. "I wish I'm going to see her soon and [she's] feeling better."</p> <p>Williams explained in a statement, “Before the match, I did not feel great, and then it just got worse with every second; extreme dizziness and extreme fatigue.</p> <p>“By the score, it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically.</p> <p>“I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami.”</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

10 nutrition myths you need to stop believing

<p>Your nutrition needs change with age, as it becomes critical to incorporate healthy habits to better support your physical and cognitive health.</p> <p>Dietitian Ngaire Hobbins debunks the top myths when it comes to your diet.</p> <p><strong>1. Your stomach shrinks as you get older</strong><br />Although your appetite and your capacity to eat may change, your stomach doesn’t shrink as you get older. In fact, not eating well enough only accelerates the ageing process.</p> <p><strong>2. Weight loss is healthy</strong><br />Unfortunately, this is not always the case when we are older. Instead, dieting or unintentional weight loss should be avoided in our later years, with any weight loss a natural result of combining good exercise with an eating plan rich in protein.</p> <p>In fact, a bit of extra padding is beneficial to support your body and brain in the years ahead.</p> <p><strong>3. You need to eat less as you get older</strong><br />Whilst your metabolism slows and your energy output decreases, food and eating is what protects and fuels you — it is your key to ageing well.</p> <p>As you age, you may need to eat less of some things, and your body will need more of others, particularly foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.</p> <p><strong>4. Only eat what you feel like</strong><br />The ageing process can play tricks on our appetite and the triggers that tell us if we are hungry or full. As a result, you might eat less than what your bodies really need. It’s important to realise the vital importance of continuing to eat despite the tricks, so your body gets the energy and nutrients it needs to function.</p> <p>An outright loss of appetite is not normal and could be symptomatic of an underlying health problem. If you are having trouble eating enough, try to eat small meals regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t always feel like it.</p> <p><strong>5. You need a low-fat diet</strong><br />Contrary to deeply entrenched popular opinion, a low-fat diet is not always the best, especially as you get older. Fat is an important source of calories and some people might need to eat a bit extra to maintain weight.</p> <p>For most, however, eating foods that contain mostly unsaturated fats is best for heart, body, and brain health. Fats found in foods such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, and oily fish are ideal.</p> <p><strong>6. Eat more vegetables</strong><br />Whilst nutrient-rich vegetables continue to be essential in your diet, protein needs to be at the centre of your plate, with the vegetables surrounding it from now on. That’s because you need more — not less — protein as you get older.</p> <p>Protein keeps our muscles, immune system, organs, and brains — all our systems — working and renewing minute by minute. Vegetables are always important, but if your appetite is small, ensure you get the protein in first, then enjoy the vegetables.</p> <p><strong>7. You only need to drink water when you’re thirsty<br /></strong>If you feel thirsty, you are already a bit dehydrated. That’s a problem because neither your body nor your brain can function at peak capacity if you are dehydrated. Dehydration can cause confusion and delirium, hampers kidney function, and worsens a multitude of other conditions. As you get older, you may not sense thirst as efficiently, putting them at greater risk of dehydration and making fluid intake an essential element of overall nutrition.</p> <p><strong>8. Supplements are sufficient</strong><br />Of course, we can’t live off vitamins and supplement tablets alone. Your body works best when it is working — that means eating and digesting food. What’s more, most supplements promoted to help you live longer, boost memory, fight off dementia and more, fail to live up to their claims.</p> <p>And there’s another problem — many interact with common medications or just don’t work the way they would if you ate them in the foods, they are naturally found in.</p> <p>You could spend a lot of money for no gain when you could do better by simply eating. Not only that, but you would miss out on one of life’s greatest pleasures — cooking and eating with family and friends.</p> <p><strong>9. You must always eat a "proper meal"</strong><br />Making sure you eat regularly is essential to help you live well and remain independent. However, eating three full meals a day can be a struggle if you have a loss of appetite, or find cooking too difficult or time-consuming.</p> <p>You can opt for pre-packaged meals, frozen dinners, or takeaway foods, but some of these don’t contain the protein and other nutrients necessary to support ageing bodies and brains; others are high in sodium or saturated fats. If three good meals are too much of a challenge, five to six small meals or well-chosen snacks can be just as beneficial.</p> <p><strong>10. Malnutrition is part of getting older</strong></p> <p>Malnutrition can affect anyone — at any age — and is not a normal part of the ageing process. However, with age comes a greater risk of malnutrition and it’s important that you don’t dismiss the warning signs as being a part of "old age".</p> <p>For more information on healthy habits for eating well, read the <a href="https://homeinstead.com.au/resources/nutrition-seniors">full nutrition guide</a>.</p> <p>What healthy habits have you tried to incorporate into your life?</p> <p><em>Written by Ngaire Hobbins. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/10-nutrition-myths-to-ignore.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Guinness World Records: Meet the world’s oldest living person aged 116

<p>A 116-year-old Japanese woman has been given the title of the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records on Saturday.</p> <p>Residing in a nursing home in Japan’s southwest, Kane Tanaka enjoys playing the board game Othello and studying mathematics.</p> <p>In a ceremony, which took place at the nursing home, Ms Tanaka was officially bestowed the title in front of her family and the mayor.</p> <p>Ms Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903 and was the seventh of eight children.</p> <p>In 1922 she married Hideo Tanaka, with the pair having four children together and adopting another.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">WORLD’S OLDEST PERSON: 116-year-old Kane Tanaka was honored Saturday as the world's oldest living person by Guinness World Records. She says it's been a dream of hers since she was 100 ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/NOo501hdHz">https://t.co/NOo501hdHz</a> <a href="https://t.co/BVfxXfxhX0">pic.twitter.com/BVfxXfxhX0</a></p> — CBS News (@CBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1104456895174270976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Holding the title previously was Chiyo Miyako, also from Japan. She passed away in July at the age of 117. The oldest person to break the record before Miyako was also Japanese, with the region’s healthy lifestyle contributing to their long life.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Our new oldest person living record holder Kane Tanaka (116) was given a box of chocolates as a gift today at the certificate presentation - she immediately ate them!<br />Later when she was asked how many chocolates she wants to eat today, she said "100" 😄🍫 <a href="https://t.co/rgrgP0JcRp">https://t.co/rgrgP0JcRp</a> <a href="https://t.co/T48UWK562k">pic.twitter.com/T48UWK562k</a></p> — GuinnessWorldRecords (@GWR) <a href="https://twitter.com/GWR/status/1104295628459462659?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The nation is known to consume plenty of fish, rice, vegetables and other low-fat foods, with many of the elderly remaining active into their 80s and beyond.</p> <p>But despite the impressive milestone, Ms Tanaka still has a long way to go if she hopes to beat the oldest person to ever exist – French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment who was 122 years when she died.</p> <p>Guinness said the world’s oldest man is currently being investigated, as the man who was previously going to be given the title passed away in January at 113.</p> <p>Masazo Nonaka, also Japanese, enjoyed devouring sweets and was never seen without his trademark knit beanie.</p> <p>His retirement was spent watching sumo wrestling on TV, reading the daily news and eating plenty of desserts.</p> <p>According to his family, Mr Nonaka’s long life was credited to his stress-free lifestyle.</p> <p>He managed to outlive all of his siblings, his wife and also three of their five children.</p> <p>Would you want to live past 100? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Body