Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Balancing Act: Staying Active in the Midst of a Busy Schedule

Thursday 28 December 2023

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In today's fast-paced world, juggling work, family, and social commitments can make finding time for physical activity seem like an insurmountable challenge. However, maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for overall well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore practical strategies and tips on how to stay active even when your schedule is packed to the brim.

1. Prioritize and Schedule:

The first step in staying active amidst a hectic schedule is to make physical activity a priority. Treat exercise as an essential part of your routine by scheduling it into your calendar, just like any other important appointment. Whether it's a brisk walk during lunch, a quick workout in the morning, or an evening yoga session, having a set schedule increases the likelihood of sticking to your fitness routine.

2. Embrace Short, High-Intensity Workouts:

Busy schedules often leave little time for lengthy workouts. Fortunately, short and intense workouts can be just as effective in keeping you fit. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an excellent option, involving short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods. These workouts can be completed in as little as 15 to 30 minutes, making them easy to fit into even the busiest day.

3. Incorporate Physical Activity into Daily Tasks:

Look for opportunities to infuse physical activity into your daily tasks. Choose the stairs over the elevator, take short walking breaks during work, or do stretching exercises while waiting for your coffee to brew. These small, intentional choices add up and contribute to your overall activity level.

4. Make the Most of Breaks:

Whether you're at work or home, use your breaks wisely. Instead of scrolling through your phone or sitting at your desk, take a short walk outside, do a few stretches, or engage in quick exercises. Not only does this boost your energy levels, but it also provides a mental break, enhancing focus and productivity.

5. Find Activities You Enjoy:

The key to maintaining a consistent exercise routine is finding activities you genuinely enjoy. Whether it's dancing, cycling, hiking, or playing a sport, choosing activities that bring you joy increases the likelihood that you'll stick with them. Experiment with different forms of exercise until you discover what resonates with you.

6. Team Up for Accountability:

Enlist the support of friends, family, or colleagues to stay accountable. Join a fitness class together, schedule regular workout sessions, or participate in a sports league. Having a workout buddy not only makes exercise more enjoyable but also adds a layer of accountability, making it harder to skip your scheduled activities.

7. Prioritize Sleep and Stress Management:

A busy schedule often comes with increased stress and potential sleep deprivation. However, both sleep and stress management are integral components of a healthy and active lifestyle. Ensure you are getting enough rest and practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation or deep breathing exercises to support your overall well-being.

Maintaining an active lifestyle amidst a busy schedule requires intention, planning, and a willingness to prioritize your health. By incorporating short, effective workouts, infusing physical activity into your daily tasks, and finding activities that bring you joy, you can strike a balance between your hectic routine and staying fit. Remember, staying active is not just about physical health; it's a holistic approach to well-being that positively impacts your mental and emotional state. So, lace up those sneakers, carve out some time for movement, and embrace the benefits of an active, balanced life.

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Spring Essential Vitamins - the 5 must haves to improve overall health this season

Tuesday 2 May 2023

London, UK
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Spring is a season of renewal and rejuvenation, and it's a great time to focus on your health and well-being. One way to do this is by ensuring that you're getting the essential vitamins that your body needs to function properly. Here are some of the spring essential vitamins that you should consider taking to improve your overall health this season:

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from damage and improve your immune system function. It's also essential for collagen production, which is important for healthy skin, hair, and nails. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, and broccoli, or by taking a vitamin C supplement.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for bone health, as it helps your body to absorb calcium. It's also been shown to improve immune function and reduce inflammation. While you can get vitamin D from sunlight, it's often difficult to get enough, especially in the spring when the sun is still weak. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement to ensure that you're getting enough.

  1. B Vitamins

The B vitamins, including B12, B6, and folate, are important for energy production, brain function, and red blood cell formation. They're found in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, eggs, and leafy greens. If you're not getting enough B vitamins from your diet, consider taking a B-complex supplement.

  1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from damage and reduce inflammation. It's also important for healthy skin and hair. You can get vitamin E from nuts, seeds, and leafy greens, or by taking a vitamin E supplement.

  1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for healthy vision, immune function, and skin health. It's found in animal products like liver and eggs, as well as in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. You can also take a vitamin A supplement if you're not getting enough from your diet.

In conclusion, taking these spring essential vitamins can help you improve your overall health this season. Remember to get plenty of vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet, but also consider taking supplements to fill any gaps in your nutrition. As always, consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

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How to lose weight with 6 easy rules in a healthy and sustainable way: no need of personal trainers or expensive gym memberships

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Losing weight is a common goal for many people, but it can be challenging to achieve. There are so many conflicting diet and exercise programs out there that it's hard to know what really works. The good news is that you don't need to spend a fortune on personal trainers or gym memberships to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Focus on your diet

The most important aspect of weight loss is your diet. You need to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn. This can be achieved by reducing your portion sizes, choosing healthier foods, and cutting back on sugary and processed foods. A diet high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats can also help you feel fuller for longer, reducing the temptation to overeat.

  1. Move more

While exercise isn't essential for weight loss, it can help you burn more calories and improve your overall health. You don't need a gym membership or fancy equipment to get moving. Simply going for a walk or jog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing bodyweight exercises at home can all contribute to your calorie burn.

  1. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for weight loss. When you're sleep-deprived, your body produces more hunger hormones, making it harder to resist unhealthy foods. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to give your body the rest it needs to function at its best.

  1. Practice mindful eating

Mindful eating involves paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues, and eating slowly and without distractions. This can help you avoid overeating and make healthier food choices. Try to eat without your phone, TV, or other distractions, and focus on enjoying your food and listening to your body.

  1. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce your appetite. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day, and try to limit sugary drinks and alcohol.

  1. Be patient

Remember that sustainable weight loss takes time and patience. Don't expect to see results overnight, and don't get discouraged if you hit a plateau. Celebrate your progress along the way, and focus on creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

In conclusion, losing weight in a healthy and sustainable way doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. By focusing on your diet, moving more, getting enough sleep, practicing mindful eating, staying hydrated, and being patient, you can achieve your weight loss goals without breaking the bank. Start small, make gradual changes, and watch as your body transforms over time.

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How to easily do 10,000 steps a day

Tuesday 2 February 2021

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I would like to help a few people at least do their 10,000 steps a day. I know it has been a very hot topic and scientists been debating on the actual benefits of walking 10k a day or rather just investing your energy in a short brisk walk in the park. 

Their argument is that it is extremely hard to hit that 10k mark.
Not only that but Michael Mosley stated in an article for the BBC called " Forget walking 10,000 steps a day" 

Read the article HERE 

Well, I have to say that I could not disagree more! It is true that you will get the benefits of brisk walking in the park for 10 min. But the benefits of walking longer and reaching 10,000 or at least aiming for this number are greater.

In another BBC article, yet was stated that as per research conducted on a few thousand woman, the longer you walk helps with longevity. And when I say the longer you walk I mean more than 5,000 steps- at least 7,500, but ideally really 10,000.

Read the article HERE 

This number doesn't not only helps your longevity but is essentially vital cardio that your heart needs.

So let's talk about the other benefits.
Below I have listed some of them for your reference.

The Benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day

boost your energy
aid relaxation and clear your mind
provide a sense of achievement and satisfaction
improve confidence and mood
help manage weight
promote healthier blood cholesterol and blood pressure
built stronger bones and muscles
reduce your risk of heart attack

All these sound good and worth enough for you to give it the effort?
I know the number by itself is scary enough and trust me I was intimidated too.
How I overcame my fear and just cracked at it for the sake of my health and mental wellbeing?

My main reason, I am not going to lie to you, was because I wanted to lose a few kilograms I gained over the lockdown. With less activity on a daily basis and eating out of boredom, I needed a goal, and my sister helped by giving me some of her workout secrets.

They were not so many secrets but a few helpful youtube tutorials, an app that tracks my calories and exercise so I stay motivated.  

Let's start with the app.

It is called LOSE IT! 
And I love it. I do not obsess about my calories but simply use it as a piece of general information.
I am not starving myself and have set up an achievable easy target to hit.

I suggest you consult your doctor and ask for a dietitian first if you have any underlying issues!

Again,  with any weight loss app out there, please do not obsess and use it as a piece of general information. Consider that any app on the market would not go into detail about your body type and would not be as precise as a personal dietitian.

Moving forward to the actual walking.

I started with getting myself a stepper ( eBay, Amazon, Argos- perfect places to get one).
It is a very good idea if you do not like walking or running in the rain.
So I use the stepper and do a 30 min aerobic stepper routine with the help of Youtube of course. 
I started with a beginner tutorial and I suggest you do too. I have never tried a stepper before and even if you are quite fit and exercise daily I would still recommend you go for a beginner to get the basic movements and tempo of the workout step routine.

Some days I would do 2 x 30 min stepper routines witch is 10,000 steps.
Other days I mix it with 30 min stepper routine + 30 min normal marching at-home tutorial for 30 min which is again 10,000 steps
And today for example I went for a walk in the nearest park for an hour ( time flew by though) which was 5,000 steps + 30 mins of the stepper routine and bam 10,000 steps

So with this in mind, you should not feel intimidated or scared. It is achievable and easily too. You only need to believe and have the persistence to stick with it.

We all brush our teeth every day and do other routine things, so I see no reason why you cannot incorporate this healthy routine should you want to of course. Nobody is forcing you.

I generally feel great after each workout, physically and mentally.

I hope you found this helpful and let me know in the comments below if you wish me to share some of my other workouts routines.


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How to keep your body and mind healthy during lockdown

Monday 25 January 2021

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While there is not a magical recipe or an elixir we can drink to achieve inner peace and get rid of all our worries and anxiety, there certainly is a way we can improve our state of mind and relax our senses.
You know what people say: 'The Little Things Matter'
And it is true!
You don't need to start with huge overwhelming efforts and pretend it is okay, then fail and blame yourself by making it even worse. 
The best thing to do is to start small but try your best to be consistent.

And if you have no idea what the heck this means and where should you start from..
Well, read below and I hope you get inspired and less scared in your abilities to do and create some good habits or just enjoy a bit better days.

1. Start your day on the healthy side.

A good promising day should start with some good fuel in your body. And what better energy than some vitamins and nutrients.
Even if it is an 8am or 9am r a 10am start ( listen to your body if you are not currently working)
you are going for, wait for a little for your body to wake up before having some breakfast.  
This way your metabolism will have the chance to flush out any remaining toxins from the night before, while you have your morning hot water with lemon, tea, or coffee ( preferably not the last one)

Breakfast wise, keep it light but nutritious, ideally something that will keep you full until lunch time.

Toast with some fruit or veg or a bowl of cereal are the easiest simple choice and you can play around with the options here a lot. Whether you go for the avocado and a fruit combo or the classic egg on toast, you just simply can not go wrong.

2. Finding a hobby you enjoy

We are all so different as characters and so are our interests. With that in mind, my suggestions below are merely scraping the top of a vast deep sea of possibilities you can dwell in, to keep your mind occupied and relaxed.
For example, I like blogging in my spare time and really enjoy writing about topics that interest me or I have had experience in, and think I can help people benefit from my articles. 
So, I like to write down ideas for blogs I can later explore, research, and expand into a beautiful creation here. The scented candles is always a plus as we humans react, even subconsciously, to scents. They tend to relax us and make us feel cozy.

Some people enjoy writing things in their diary and planning possible business adventures, or just sketching ideas and dreams for the future.
Or simply plan a bit the day ahead: like what groceries you would like to get, or maybe you want to cook something specific and you need ingredients.
Or perhaps you have bought an online course and you are broadening your horizons and knowledge.

I add a cup of tea to go with that activity as well. I recently gave up the habit of drinking coffee and switched to tea which I found was the best thing I could have done.
After the week of massive headache withdrawal symptoms and being moody at almost everything, I have discovered I do not need coffee! At all! My body found ( I do not know from where) the energy to wake up and get me through the day and that energy was better balanced and even throughout the day. 
Now, I know it is a trivial thing to say and you have read this everywhere, BUT I am confirming it is true.
Do not get me wrong, I love coffee and will still treat myself one or two cups a month, but the will power to stop cold turkey is amazing and definitely something to celebrate as an achievement.

So, this can be something you can do as well. Get rid of one unhealthy habit. 
And trust me when I say this: do it cold turkey style. Nothing else helps as for me it is just teasing and slow torture. 

Another piece of advice to help you with the transition: 
Whatever you choose to get rid of, find a replacement for it, preferably on the healthy side of the spectrum.
And when you do get creative. What I mean is this: I knew how much I love coffee and I had to make myself excited about tea, so I got a fancy tea mug and went to the shops on the search for special decaf teas.
To my surprise, these babies come in all different colours and cute packaging and as I am such a sucker for a good design, it wasn't long before I got a few kinds of goodies.

( Let me know in the comments if you would like me to write a post about a few tea brands and types really good for you)

Also, the walk to the shops provided e with some much-needed exercise and fresh air.
This brings me to the next little help:

3. Go for walks outside

Even the short walkies will be good for you. Why? Because they will get you out of the state of mind you are and refresh it with some new ideas or simply relax you a bit. You can go to the nearest shop or just put on your favorite sneakers and walk around the blocks of your neighborhood.

Or go get those ingredients for the recipe you were looking to cook for lunch or dinner. Remember? The one you wrote in the morning in your journal. This is an easy trick to make your day flow as naturally as possible and all the things you do touch/connect to each other somehow.

Another thing you can do is go for a walk, with a mission in mind. Maybe you want to get some flowers or fallen branches of trees you can re-plant. Or you perhaps would like to go to that park nearby you always wanted and explore a bit your area and discover new cute streets.

4. Cook something new

Introducing a new flavor and tastes to your diet is very beneficial for your brain and body.
Our Brain easily gets bored if we only eat one type of food for a prolonged period of time and this is one of the main reasons people reach out for unhealthy snacks or lose appetite.
Introducing a new taste is a way of intriguing ourself=ves and in particular, our taste buds and brain, which in return will make the satisfaction of the cooking process even bigger.
I mean who hasn't felt that pride after finishing a recipe and eating the tasty result of our own efforts?!
And the good thing here is that they are so many cooking books to provide you with some really healthy and tasty meals for the whole family.

Also, Nothing like the thought that you have just learned a new recipe and provided your body with much-needed nutrients and protein.

This of course includes sweets. What a better way to treat yourself but with home-baked muffins or a cake.

Another added benefit is: You will spend more time in the heart of your home- The kitchen.
Socialize with your family and discuss more delicious things you can all cook together.
You can even start a little ritual, like every Saturday one of you bakes something. Or perhaps a cooking competition as a game with a prize.

5. Keep it light

I am talking about food here and why is it so important not to overeat.
What happens to our body when we overeat? We get sleepy because all of our blood is taken to our tummies to help digest that massive meal we have just hoovered. In return, we might simply go to one of those dead naps from which you wake up and you have no idea what day, year, or century you are in currently. 
So how do we prevent this? I mean even if we have our good-sized healthy meals, we might still feel a bit more hungry in between meals. 
Well, the answer is the power snack- pack full of goodness! 
Fruit, toast with a little protein or protein homemade balls.

Or a selection platter of a few good bits you like. You can always turn it into a healthier version of a cheese platter and call it a snack platter. 

And when I say keep it light, I mean to keep it light. It is a snack and not a full meal replacement.
Especially if you are not moving around much ( which you should ) it is not a good idea to stuff yourself without providing an outer for all that energy. 
This is another reason why our sleep suffers and certain health conditions worsens- overating and lack of exercise.

6. Make it cozy

Creating a cozy little corner where you can unwind can be really fulfilling and look very different for each of us.
Some of us like to create a burrito like a cacoon where they can snuggle and read a book or drink their tea,  others prefer the comfort of a sofa or a lounge chair, gazing through their favorite window at that burning sunset, while simply not thinking about anything in particular. Or maybe you enjoy going through some Interior design magazines, reading a motivational book while having a bath, writing that blog you have been planning, and lighting that favorite scented candle. 

Creating a little before bed ritual or an afternoon ritual helps massively your mind relaxation process and reduces anxiety and stress.

Another idea to relax is a good light book and a warm light. Go easy on your eyes before bed and get mentally ready that sleep is coming. Our brain is extremely sensitive and most people do not even realize how bright screen light can affect the quality of our sleep, not to mention our dreams. If possible avoid watching violent action movies before bed and pick something relaxing like a book or a podcast. Or a simple conversation with your partner.

Nothing like a good hot bath to relax your muscles and prep you for bedtime.

If you have a pet you can use them to unwind and vent a little about the things on your mind. I mean they will probably keep your secrets forever, which makes them the perfect listener. Or just simply play with them, snuggle them as they are one of the best destress methods out there.

You can end the day by writing some ideas and reflections you had throughout the day or simply prepping your to-do list for the week, month, or next day. Or just sketching something funny instead.

Lastly, try not to make it a late one and go to bed before 23;30 ideally. saying that I know it is not always possible and some late nights are bound to happen here and there but as long as you aim for the early night most of the time you will be able to get at least 8 hours of good sleep.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and please let me know your thoughts in the comments. How are you doing during the lockdown and how are you tackling your emotions?
Remember, it is absolutely normal and perfectly human for us all to have days where we are not okay , or are being moody and can not contain our emotions. Let them out and do not buckle them inside.
Your emotions no matter what they might be are important and you should own them.

Stay safe, well and enjoy the journey!

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Why Cold Showers are super healthy

Wednesday 19 June 2019

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You might have heard that cold showers are healthy but still can't take the plunge in to testing that out?
Well, hopefully the information bellow will be a solid reason for you to finally try and see what the 'fuss' is all about.

So , lets start with some of the many benefits:

- promotes fat loss 

Yes, simply pouring ice cold water to the body can help cut weight. Cool showers activate brown fat, which generates heat around the body, according to Menprovement. The increased activity of the “good fat” burns calories to keep the body warm. Research showed that cold temperatures can boost brown fat by 15 times higher than the normal amount.
- improves immunity
A study in England showed that regular cold showers trigger an increase in the metabolic speed rate and the amount of white blood cells in the body, which then help fight diseases.
- gives better circulation
An improved circulation means better overall cardiovascular health. Among the benefits of taking cold showers is a good blood flow. It allows the blood to rush down to organs to stay warm.
- drains lymphatic system
Cold showers help boost the activity of the lymphatic system, which works to carry out waste from cells. This then reduces the risk of infections.
- promotes emotional resilience
study by NCBY ( The National Center for Biotechnology) shows that cold showers can help develop a nervous system that is resilient to stress. The effort alone serves as a small form of oxidative stress, which the body would adapt overtime and teach the brain to prepare for stress. 
- lowers stress and depression
As the brain learns how to deal with stressful situations, cold showers could also help cut the levels of uric acid and boost glutathione in the blood, which help reduce stress. Cold showers have been found to relieve symptoms of depression by stimulating “the blue spot” on the brain that releases noradrenaline, a chemical which plays a role in alleviating depression.
- increases testosterone levels
For men, even a small amount of heat can affect the DNA, RNA and protein synthesis in the testes. One study found that 15 minutes of increased heat in rat testes led to a significant decrease in testosterone. Which then suggested that cold temperatures could reverse the effect
- improves fertility
Cold showers have been found to boost sperm count and increase fertility. Researchers said that it could also reverse the effects of hot baths that have been considered to be an effective male contraceptive.In a previous experiment, men who took a half hour of hot bath every other day for three weeks became infertile for six months.
- faster muscle recovery
2009 study showed that an ice bath after intense training improves circulation and helps remove some lactic acid, which could speed up the body’s recovery.
- enhances skin and hair
The benefits of taking a cold shower not only give better health, but also make people look better. Ice cold water can help reduce the risk of losing too many natural oils on the skin and hair, according to dermatologist Jessica Krant.  It also helps make the hair appear shiny and strengthens their grip to the scalp. 
- better sleep at night
A 10-minute ice bath could help people get incredible sleep at night, according to a book titled “The Four Hour Body.” The book states that taking a cold shower gives elephant tranquilizer-like effect that will put you straight to bed.
And before I summarise,  let's have a look at 'The Four Hour Body' by Timothy Ferris, shall we?

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Roasted sweet potatoes and veggies

Monday 29 April 2019

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1 Sweet Potatoes or Butternut Squash ( Peeled )
2 Tbsp olive oil
700g Unsalted butter
230g pack sprouting brocoli (purple), thick stems
halved lenght-ways
10g flat leaf parsley leaves ( roughly chopped)
1 halved lemon
30g roasted salted almonds ( or any other nut),
roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 200˚C Cut the sweet potatoes or squash into 1cm-thick slices or cubes, put in a roasting tin and toss with the olive oil; season by your liking. I would Usually put whatever my nose likes on the moment. Cut ¹⁄ ³ of the butter into cubes and scatter over. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and roast for another 10-15 minutes until golden.

When the sweet potatoes/squash are almost done, cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Drain thoroughly; set to one side. Melt the remaining butter in a pan over a low heat. Stir in the parsley and season. Transfer to a bowl and add the lemon halves to the panflesh-side down. Turn up the heat and fry briefly until slightly charred.

Arrange the vegetables on a plate, scattered with the almonds and the
butter drizzled over. Serve with the charred lemon halves alongside for squeezing.

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