Simple Steps to the Healthy Aging Process

Various changes may occur to your body as you age, and you may not look as young as before. There are two types of aging, biological and chronological aging. Biological aging can be hastened or slowed down according to one’s liking. 

However, you cannot slow down chronological aging since it is the calendar age. Aging brings with it numerous changes in the body, both physically and internally. Dr. Gregory Lindson recommends following these easy steps to add positive behavior changes to your daily and live a healthier life.

First of all, you need to visit a specialist who will administer a test to determine your biological age. Blood biomarkers are analyzed to give the inner age accurately. The doctor can use your blood biomarker and health profile and transform it into a personalized recommendation to improve your health.

Stay physically active

Running, jogging or walking for at least 30 minutes every day can go a long way in keeping you healthy. Exercise is essential in keeping your bones strong. Inactivity exposes you to degeneration of bones, making you prone to falls and fractures. 

Regular walking will improve your mental capacity even as you age, and it also reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

Exercising also reduces stress, improves muscle strength and generally keeps you looking and feeling young. You can also exercise regularly, health experts suggesting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity and 75 minutes high intensity per week. 

But before you engage in exercise, please consult your medical practitioner for advice, especially if you are living with a health condition.

Well-balanced diet

It would help if you watch your portions, go slow on carbohydrates and reduce sugar intake and fizzy drinks. This food only gives momentary comfort and pile more fat to the body. 

Reduce fast food intake and take more homemade food, which is likely to be more natural as this will keep your body refreshed. Always ensure you give your body what it needs. Overindulgence will lead to weight gain and fasten the aging process.

Nutritionists encourage adults to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Some foods are packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, essential minerals and water. When you eat right, the skin will benefit greatly from these nutrients. 

For example, red bell pepper, papaya, and blueberries have many antioxidants, while almonds and walnuts have healthy fat that helps repair body membranes. Spinach has vitamins and helps oxygenate the whole body, while fish contains Omega-3 fats. Always chose your meals well, and this will help you reduce visits to the hospital.

Get a recommended range of nightly sleep

Always ensure you have enough sleep. This is because it is during sleep that the body engages in restoring itself. Muscle building and tissue repairs happen when one is sleeping. During this time, the brain is cleared of metabolic waste, and growth hormone is released. 

That is why sleep deprivation will cause declining cognitive function and poor cardiovascular health. People with poor sleeping habits will age faster than those who sleep well. 

Always ensure your environment is conducive and free from disturbances such as noise and bright lights. Turn off your phone and computers to concentrate on your sleep. Have a routine of sleeping and waking up at a given time so that your body may get used.

Exercise your mind

Make your mind active by thinking and learning continuously to avoid cognitive decline. You can keep your mind busy by reading books, magazines and newspapers. You could also download games such as word power and chess, where you can get opponents online to play with you. 

You can also engage in discussion with people of all generations to keep your mind active. You should avoid letting your mind idle away because this could slow down your cognitive faculty.

Keep yourself socially active

Avoid isolating yourself as this could lead to a mental decline. You can keep yourself busy by socially interacting with your friends and relatives. National Institute of Aging has found that people with poor social interactions are prone to depression, heart disease, decreased immune function, and are at risk of earlier death. 

Low social interactions are also associated with dementia. It is essential to engage in social activities to keep the mind active and slow down aging.

Self-assessment and medical examinations

Be keen on changes that are taking place in your body. You should note any significant weight gain and loss or sluggishness in task accomplishments, among other changes. Every once in a while, you can evaluate your biological age to see if you are aging faster. 

You can make changes in your diet and start an exercise regime to help if you feel you are aging too fast. You should also consult your medical practitioner when you have serious health concerns.

Your body will let you know every time something is wrong. Always listen and take early measures to remedy the situation. Keep yourself away from those things that will age you very fast, such as excessive alcohol consumption. Taking care of your body goes a long way in ensuring you live a healthy life.

16 Million Reasons Why Health Tech is a Win for Mental Health

The UK government has pledged an ambitious programme of revolutionising mental health over the next three years, seeing all mental health service providers becoming digitised and fully integrated with other health and care services by 2024. The scale of a mental health epidemic is real — with the UK’s population of 67 million, one in four people will experience a mental health illness at least once in their lives, that’s 16 million people. The Mental Health Foundation estimates that by 2030, over two million people will experience mental health problems in the UK alone. Mental health problems already stand as one of the main global causes of overall disease.

One thing is certain, mental health tech that is deliverable on a large scale is both desirable and necessary. Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of the healthcare system becoming more digitised and the impact this will have on mental health care.

Focusing on areas of high unmet clinical needs

In 2016, Jeremy Hunt, the then health secretary, acknowledged that child mental health services are the “biggest single area of weakness” in the NHS —  less than 1% of all NHS spending is on the mental health of children and young people. And it isn’t just young people that are suffering. Mental health charity Mind conducted research across 42 regions in the UK and found that mental health spending varies widely across regions in England, with a two-fold difference in spending between regions.

The vast need for mental health services means that waiting lists are long, which for some people’s mental health can be devastating, or even in some cases fatal.  According to the Independent last year, over 122,000 patients seeking mental health care are being kept on ‘hidden waiting lists’ for over eight weeks to see a doctor again after their initial appointment, described as a ‘hidden sucker punch’.

In order to help support those on long waiting lists, health tech like myGP, an app providing various online healthcare services such as NHS prescription delivery, can be essential for those who might not have capacity or may struggle to leave their house. Such technology is also beneficial for:

  • Repeat prescription services for those suffering mental health issues taking medication on an ongoing basis
  • Booking physical doctor’s appointments online when they need medical advice
  • Video consultations when patients might not be able to make a physical appointment or are scared

It can also be useful for signposting to alternative community points of care when there is availability, rather than to your usual GP. This can reduce these waiting times by allocating appointments in a smart and efficient way, particularly in areas of high unmet clinical needs as well as offering alternative digital therapies so that mild and manageable cases can be removed from the waiting lists to make way for more severe cases, fast tracking patients with higher need who perhaps require specialist or more intensive treatment.

The development of this health tech app can help people access mental health services that they might not have been able to prior — this is particularly beneficial for hard to reach communities including ethnic minorities, locations with a geographic disadvantage, older individuals, and young people who are particularly affected by the mental health services operating at almost full capacity.

myGP commented: “Online repeat prescription ordering is up 225% since May last year as well as transaction volume and overall features by 167%. This peaked in March at almost 27 million transactions.

“Demand for healthcare will always exist and a demand for easily accessible healthcare will remain. However, moving forward, it is about patient choice as each patient is different — many will adapt and be comfortable with a digital first healthcare approach whereas many others may prefer in person GP visit. Our platform delivers options to both healthcare professionals and patients for how they’d prefer assessments and appointments to take place.”

Beneficial for psychological support

Digitally enabled modes of therapy and online resources can be effective in supporting mental health and contributing to recovery in the population. According to the NHS, digital delivery of psychological remedies can be particularly suited to talking therapies, peer support, and psychoeducation. Big White Wall provides a safe place to seek anonymous support 24/7. Users can share their experiences and express themselves in images by making a ‘brick’ in the wall, as well as accessing guided group support courses on topics including managing anxiety and depression, positive thinking, and problem solving. There is also a selection of self-administered clinical tests and trained counsellors. According to statistics by the app, 95 per cent of users felt better and 73 per cent shared an issue when using the app for the first time.

These effective platforms offering 24/7 access to support ranging from one-to-one therapy sessions and peer communities as well as. This brings us to our next point.

Effective and encouraging

Mental health tech can also help reduce levels of distress by providing a clinically safe online space. It’s been long established that there is stigma around mental health, with a constant battle to normalise illnesses and seeking treatment. This combined with mental health services being historically underfunded, stigmatised, and fragmented can many patients feel discouraged, embarrassed, or frightened to seek help, which can cause a lot of harm to the individual in question.

According to annual Google search data, there were many regions attempting to self-diagnose depression and anxiety, searching for terms such as ‘am I depressed?’ and ‘do I have anxiety?’, with 12.4% of Canterbury, 10.7% of Cambridge, and 9.4% of Oxford searching for variants of self-diagnosis terms. As mentioned before, health tech like myGP offering video consultations makes health care more accessible and increases the probability of someone who is struggling to reach out — would these statistics of regional searches be as high if health tech was developed further?

Appointments and services can take place anywhere at any time and might be a milestone for people who’ve previously avoided seeking care in the past.

Helps the development of other apps

With health tech proving beneficial to society, this will encourage more innovative apps covering a wider range of needs for different mental illnesses to get funding and be created. For example, there’s a myriad of apps existing that incorporate proven techniques like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT). PanicShield was created as a visual aid to help someone cope in an anxiety or panic attack by breathing in time to calming patterns; notOK is a suicide prevention app which allows users to activate a notification when their support network is needed; and apps for people who suffer obsessive compulsive disorder such as nOCD, which includes mindfulness and exposure response prevention treatment with clinically-supported guidance, weekly tests to assess the severity of the disorder, and motivational support.

With the success of existing apps, we’re certain to see new and imaginative ways to help people suffering mental illnesses.

How to Train Like an Olympian

Please note that this is a guide and will vary based on your overall health. We also advise to not push yourself too hard and avoid the Maximum heartrate column.

 

Know the sport inside out

To know how to succeed, you need to know how not to fail. Knowing the rules of a sport is important to know to make sure you don’t accidentally conduct something illegal in the sport. Olympic athletes live and breathe their event so they know what will win them the gold and what could get them disqualified. Joining a club, taking a look at the theory and history behind the sport, or entering a tournament could be helpful ways to know more about the event.

 

Develop your skills

Before you begin your training, why not make a note of your resting heart rate, how far you can run, how much weight you can comfortably lift, and after a few weeks you’ll see the evidence of your hard work. As your training development continues and you smash your goals, you’ll notice your form and skills will improve greatly as well. It’s important to keep track of your improvements and see how you can push yourself further. If you feel like you need more help, why not check your local gym for a personal trainer? They can help you reach your goals and offer tips about rest and recovery.

 

Take care of your mind and body

Your physical and mental wellbeing are important to understand. Here are a few tips to help you take care of yourself outside of exercise:

  • Get plenty of rest, including sleep and taking days off training
  • Stretch after you finished training to help your body cool down and prevent pulled muscles
  • Take care of your mental health by listening to your emotions and taking breaks when needed
  • Stay hydrated and eat well
  • Look after your back! Back injuries can stop you in your tracks, and getting back to training could take some time
  • Create a schedule and try to stick to it. This will give you preparation time and get you into a routine

Training should be about having fun and achieving fitness goals, so if you feel it causes you stress, anxiety, injury, it’s ok to stop and come back to it at another time.

 

Try something new

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was the first year we saw Skateboarding on the roster. While the sport has been popular since 1970s, experts and celebrities like Tony Hawk made it mainstream in the 1990s. There are 100s of skateparks in the UK, and if you want to find a club to help you perfect your technique, there’s communities and lessons available throughout the UK.

 

Have fun

Every time you smash a personal goal, make sure to reward yourself with praise and bask in the happiness. Ultimately life is about having fun and not taking things too seriously, so make sure you’re having a great time and not putting too much pressure on yourself. Gold medal men’s synchronised 10m diver Tom Daley was seen knitting during rest moments in the Olympic Stadium, so having a creative outlet is part of the experience!

We hope this helped and inspired you to try something new. See you for the Paris 2024 Olympics!

Employees Uncomfortable Taking Time Out for Health Appointments

The last 18 months has put health and wellbeing at the top of the agenda for both businesses and employees.   

Many businesses have introduced new ways to protect employee health throughout the pandemic, whether through launching new policies or offering wellbeing benefits such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and remote GP services.

Yet still only three in 10 employees say their employer encourages them to look after their health according to a new study by Bupa Health Clinics.

Just under a quarter (24%) say they don’t feel their employer is encouraging when it comes to attending regular appointments. 16% say they have to take health appointments off as holiday or unpaid leave, and 15% have had time off denied even though it was for a health check-up or screening.

Alaana Woods, Commercial Director at Bupa Health Clinics said: “For businesses, looking after employee health is essential. If we do not support the wellbeing of our workforce, how can we expect them to perform at a high-level and reach their business goals and objectives?

“If employees are unable to attend health appointments or regular screenings then health concerns are left for longer, which can later result in long-term absence from the organisation for treatment. For each case of long-term absence, it costs businesses £19,000 – this is huge.

“Regular health screenings have been neglected during the pandemic, for example, there are currently 4.7 million people with cervixes in the UK who haven’t been adequately screened for cervical cancer. So, ensuring employees are able to take time off when needed to attend these screenings can be potentially lifesaving.

“Not only is looking after employee health the right thing to do, but it makes business sense. Those who support employee health and wellbeing, reap the benefits of having a healthy, productive and engaged workforce.”

The study also found that over one in five employees say they’re too busy to take time off for a health appointment.

Alaana Woods adds: “Health always has to come first, and businesses need to allow employees to prioritise their health.

“You’re never ‘too busy’ to go to a health appointment and putting things on hold is only likely to make things worse. Organisations need to normalise the importance of looking after your health and this can be done through three simple ways.”

Be flexible and approachable

As a manager, being flexible and approachable to your teams’ needs will help them feel able to open up to you about any health complaints they may have.

Let employees know that if they have a health appointment, they can either start late or finish earlier to support this. If they need time out during the day, let them know that’s ok too and be flexible, allowing working from home for ease. Always check to see how they are, this will be hugely valued.

Educate managers and line managers

Education is so important when it comes to normalising conversations about our health. For example, for women going through the menopause, we need everyone to understand symptoms and be able to have a conversation with their employees about what they’re experiencing.

Creating manager and line manager guides can be a great way to do this and sending them out to all the leaders across the organisation. You could also try running an internal session and inviting speakers from outside the organisation in to speak.

Internal campaigns can also be a great way to get all staff members talking about a certain issue. For example, November is Movember, what can you do to raise awareness of men’s health and break down any taboos.

Provide easy access to services

Access to services is key to ensuring employees are getting the support they need. As well as mental health, business also need to look at physical health too. As we move out of the pandemic, more people need support with musculoskeletal problems from the impact of working from home.

Remote services, such as GP or EAPs, can help people access medical advice, wherever they are, 24/7. Something which is hugely beneficial if they’re worried about being ‘too busy’ to take time out.  

Cities the Most Burnout and in Need of a Holiday

In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classed burnout as a diagnosable syndrome because of stress in the workplace. Burnout affects more people than previously thought, with research finding nearly a quarter of the workforce suffer on a regular basis. Symptoms of workplace burnout include:

  • Feeling stressed
  • Feeling cynical about working conditions and colleagues
  • Emotionally distanced
  • Physiological issues like headaches, stomach aches, and intestinal issues
  • Emotionally exhausted
  • Low energy
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed

Particularly over the last year, feelings of workplace burnout were exasperated during the pandemic in some jobs and industries. Junior bankers at investment bank Goldman Sachs asked for an 80-hour work week cap as many were forced to work 18-hour shifts in the pandemic which left them feeling emotionally and physically unwell.

The modern-day workforce faces a consistently heavy workload and immense pressure. Housing prices and the cost of living are rising as well as the jobs market becoming more saturated. People are understandably stretched and living fast-paced lives.

 

Dealing with stress

Dealing with long-term workplace stress and feeling burnt out would need a long-term solution such as reassessing your career path, location, and even organisation you work for. Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. If you feel like you need professional help, please get in contact with your GP for ways to cope with your career. Don’t feel like you need to handle it alone.

For short-term relief, taking a break from work is recommended to reset and relax from the daily stress of your job. With holiday destinations opening up over the last couple of months, opting for a holiday abroad can be a great way to unwind and mentally sign out from work. You can travel far away from your office, leave your laptop at home, and focus on the here and now on a beach with your favourite book in your hand wearing your comfiest mules. Just check out the UK Government’s list of countries you can travel to.

 

Which cities need a holiday the most?

We decided to explore Google search data from June 2020 to May 2021 to discover which cities are the most burnt out and in need of a well-deserved break from work. We analysed searches that related to our research, for example variations of “stress symptoms”, “burnout symptoms”, “work stress”, “stress management”, and “chronic stress”. In total, we researched 50 search terms around this.

Results revealed that Bolton was the most burnt-out city with 638 searches per 100,000 people, followed by Peterborough with 604 searches, Belfast and Warrington with 567, and Manchester with 556.

5 Benefits of Professional Health Care

Taking care of elderly or special needs loved ones doesn’t only involve time-consuming work but
also demanding challenges that can be difficult to deal with. You’ll need to make time for all the tasks concerning their care while ensuring that you stay in the loop of your other life responsibilities such as work and family.

You may haven’t considered getting help in the past, but your loved ones’ needs also change in drastic ways as time passes. What used to be your all-out commitment may begin faltering, and before you reach the point of exhaustion, perhaps it’s time you looked into professional home
care and what it can bring to the table.

Why Hire Professional Home Care

May it be your parents, grandparents, or siblings who need 24/7 care and attention, one of the best solutions you could find to ensure their wellness is to hire a provider of professional home care. It’s an option that allows your loved ones to stay in the comfort of your or their home while
getting all the professional attention and support they need to get through each day.

Of course, the range of home care solutions you can turn to would depend on your location. For instance, several subsidised services involving the care of ageing people and their needs are available to families living in Australia. If you try searching online, you’ll discover the answers to questions like ‘What is My Aged Care?’ and that would be the right thing to do: arming yourself with extensive information before diving into anything. Professional home care can help not just your loved one but also your family. How? Take a look at some of the benefits you could get should you opt to request that kind of service:

1. Skilled Nursing Professionals At Home

In-home care is the best way to help your ageing family member who doesn’t like the idea of leaving their house to be in a care facility. The individuals who provide such service are highly skilled at what they do, and they’ve acquired years of experience doing their job that it’s become
second nature to them to care for other people professionally.

Caregivers are often supervised by licensed nurses who are also passionate about what they do. They’ll see to it that your family member gets all the support and care they need to live a more
comfortable and stress-free life.

2. Access to High-Technology Medical Equipment

Along with certified caregivers and licensed nurses, home care services also use high-tech
medical tools and equipment. Equipment can range from shower chairs and toilet frames to mobility aids and recliner chairs to make sure your loved one will always be comfortable and supported when you can’t be there for them.

3. Assistance With Nutrition and Diet

One key aspect that secures your ageing loved one’s health and wellness is their nutritional requirements. They need access to nutritious foods and diets that’ll help them stay at the peak of their prime despite their old age. If they have special diets associated with chronic illnesses or certain medical conditions, all the more will you appreciate professional home care and the
services it entails.

Depending on the type of package or service you ask for, home care can include comprehensive nutritional counselling and even home-cooked meals to make sure your loved one avoids malnutrition and deficiencies related to lack of necessary nutrients.

4. Provides Companionship When You Can’t

Some ageing people are capable of taking care of themselves. However, it doesn’t mean you can let them be on their own all the time. Lack of companionship and socialising can affect their
health in some ways, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.

With professional home care, you can be sure that they have someone to be with them and keep them company. Caregivers can also help them with daily chores such as cleaning the house, maintaining the lawn, and driving to doctor appointments if you’re too busy to take them. They can go on leisure walks outside or visit recreational parks with your loved one in order for them to get some sun exposure, which would be good for their body, too.

5. Medication Management

Ageing or disabled people sometimes have multiple prescriptions they need to remember every
day. With their faltering memory, it may be a challenge to keep track of their medications.
Professional home care providers can assist them with medication management, ensuring that the
right medicines are being taken at the prescribed times.

Conclusion

Caring for ageing family members doesn’t have to be a dreadful challenge as long as you’re able to pick the right home care service for them. Ater all, there are more than enough benefits you can get from professional home care. This may not be how you pictured handling the situation given that there are people who choose to care for their relatives on their own. However, it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to look into your options, especially if those would result in the improvement of your loved one’s health and well-being.

3 Science-Based Mood Disorder Treatments You Can Use to Feel Better Quickly

Science-based treatments have been recognized as essential in the treatment of mood disorders. They have helped people understand the symptoms and possible causes of mood disorders and how to effectively treat them through various behavioral therapy techniques.

Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders need proper treatment. Unfortunately, these disorders are often dismissed as part of life rather than something that can be effectively alleviated through scientific methods.

If you’re struggling with any mood disorders, then three effective ways of managing your mood disorders are psychotherapy, support groups, and self-help techniques.

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, the treatment of mental disorders by talking with a professional counselor, can effectively treat a mood disorder.

It is helpful for you to speak to a psychotherapist if you’ve been struggling with your moods and seeking an alternative to medication. They are trained to develop empathic relationships that allow them to provide effective treatment for anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Speaking to a psychotherapist can shed light on many obscure aspects of a mood disorder. For instance, if you’re asking “does anxiety make you tired?” your therapist will explain how anxiety causes exhaustion because it leads to sweating and rapid heart rate. An example of an anxiety-related symptom that can cause fatigue is chest pain, which can make it difficult to sleep.

2. Support Groups

Many support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, have been around for decades. In these groups, members are encouraged to help each other recover from their addiction.

Support groups have found themselves in a more modern form in recent years. There are now support groups focused on numerous different issues. Some of the most popular types include mental health support groups, coping with grief or loss, and helping people who live with chronic diseases.

If you’re reaching out for mental health support while going through a tough time, joining a support group can be a great resource to have when you’re struggling to cope on your own.

In the modern world, there is a lot of pressure to be constantly happy and upbeat. When you’re struggling with mental health, it’s hard to find people that understand you. Support groups give those in need a safe space to share their thoughts and experiences with others who have gone through similar struggles.

A support group will allow you to share your experiences, express yourself freely, and find some relief from the symptoms of anxiety, depression, or any other mood disorder.

Social support has been a powerful strategy for ongoing health care and has been shown to improve quality of life, life expectancy, and prevent relapses.

3. Self-Help Techniques 

Managing mood disorders can be an overwhelming task. There are a lot of techniques in the market that promise to help you manage your mood disorders by providing temporary relief, but they don’t address the root of the problem.

Many self-help techniques for mental health can help you manage your symptoms and assist you in feeling better. Self-help techniques alone are not a cure, but they can definitely prove helpful in reducing symptoms and increasing the quality of life for those with mood disorders.

Many people are not aware that there are self-help techniques that can help them manage their mood disorders. Journaling to improve mental health is effective because it provides you with a personal outlet to express yourself without restrictions. Journaling can help you achieve greater levels of mindfulness and self-regulation.

Find What Works for You

Deciding on what kind of support to work with depends on your individual needs. If you’re not even sure where to begin, then support groups are a good place to start. They are an effective way to get over the stigma associated with mental health issues and share experiences with those who have gone through similar problems. Later, you may decide to see a psychotherapist and start journaling regularly.

Preparing for the Office Return: 5 Ways to Shift Your Habits, Mentality & Vices

From 19 July, the government dropped its formal advice for people to work from home where possible, now leaving it up to employers to decide when their staff should return to the office full-time or, whether they will offer the flexibility to remain working from home.

We made big shifts in our daily lives when the coronavirus pandemic arrived and our behaviours changed too – from sleeping in till 8:55 am to enjoying a cheeky Tuesday night tipple, we adopted coping mechanisms whilst contending with the stress, boredom, and uncertainty of lockdown.

Working from home has resulted in endless Zoom meetings whilst juggling childcare and ensuring the family stayed entertained. Minimal social interaction outside of our bubbles impacted both our physical and mental health.

So how do we overcome those habits as we slowly return to the normality of the workplace? Beth Riley, Content Manager, at OTTY Sleep reveals ways in which to re-build a more positive daily routine.

1. Lose the booze

From beers to spirits, supermarket sales of alcoholic drinks soared during lockdown as we became used to popping them into our trolleys alongside grocery staples.

A Public Health England report discovered that during lockdown, half a million adults increased their drinking. Whilst it might be true that maybe we ate a lot of banana bread (thanks, newfound home baking skills…), the less obvious culprit behind the nation’s weight gain was booze.

Choosing alternative low-and-no drinking options is a great way to experiment with new flavours and enjoy alcohol without having to worry about what it may do to our health. Not only does it reduce the symptoms of binge drinking, but the industry is growing at a rapid rate, and there are various (and delicious) options to choose from.

2. Reset your sleep routine

A total departure from our scheduled routines majorly disrupted sleep. Some of us may be sleeping more and some of us may be sleeping less as a consequence of the pandemic.

Studies found that the number of people experiencing insomnia rose from one in six to one in four, with more sleep problems in communities including mothers and essential workers. This shows our health and productivity could face serious problems as a result of these new sleeping habits.

An undisturbed sleep can help boost your immune system, increase productivity, and put you in a good mood to kick-start the working day.

3. Address your comfort eating

During times of high stress, it’s common to turn to the comfort of food. These cravings aren’t always the healthiest and often tend to be high in sugar and fat.

Findings from a recent YouGov survey saw lockdown boredom as the main culprit, with 63% of Brits admitting it was the trigger for eating worse.

So how do we combat this habit before it becomes an addictive pattern? Opt for foods that you know are good for you, as they’ll maintain steady energy and leave you feeling positive throughout the working day.

It’s fine to indulge now and then, especially if it brings a slight moment of joy, but ensure you keep a balanced diet moving forward so that it doesn’t impact your health in the long term.

4. Social media binging

With more time being spent at home, we’ve become immersed in our electrical devices. The world of digital has become an easy distraction from reality, with social media app TikTok coming to life and UK streaming platforms (Netflix, Disney+) seeing more than 32m people across the globe tune in during lockdown.

Mindless scrolling on these devices increases our exposure to blue light, which in turn can interfere with sleep patterns and sight deterioration.

Give yourself time out from checking social media – connect with friends in person and go for a walk or find a nice coffee shop to socialise. If the news is a trigger for anxiety, avoid checking those platforms before bed or first thing in the morning. Self-care is more important than ever, and it’s good to take a break from the media-hyped world.

5. A post-pandemic mentality

We’re all adapting the best way we know how but be gentle with the expectations you place on yourself.

Sticking to the above tips and tricks will not only help you reset but it’ll enhance your physical and mental wellbeing when returning to the office. Whether that takes a couple of weeks or even months, we need to remember that we’ve endured the most extraordinary and uncertain time of our lives.

6 of the Most Powerful Superfoods

Your diet influences all aspects of your physical and mental health, so eating nutritious foods is crucial. Instead of relying on microwaved meals and processed snacks, you can revamp your daily diet by including six of the most powerful superfoods. Check out why they’re so great for your health and how you can add them to your routine.

1. Eggs

Many people think that you need a big budget to afford a healthy diet. Eggs prove that theory wrong. They’re at every grocery store and fit any budget, but people have given them a bad reputation over the years. Yolks contain cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease if eaten too often.

However, eggs are also a natural source of protein and vitamins. Researchers found that people who eat between six to 12 eggs per week didn’t raise their risk of developing diseases like diabetes or heart problems. Enjoy them with your breakfast or over a salad to supercharge your body.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are vegetables like kale, spinach and Swiss chard. They have essential nutrients and high amounts of fiber. Eating a healthy serving of kale will give you 684% of your vitamin K daily value (DV), plus 206% of your daily vitamin A needs and 134% of your vitamin C DV. Use them as the base of your salads or sautee them into warm meals for a significant boost to your immune system, bone structure and more.

3. Avocados

Millennials made avocados a popular meme, but the trendy fruit became a grocery staple because it’s so nutritious. Whether you serve it on toast or as a snack, avocados reduce your cellular inflammation that causes issues like bloating or digestive problems. The natural fats soothe your body and can even help with weight loss, so it’s one of the most powerful superfoods you can add to your diet.

4. Legumes

Legumes are another affordable way to transform your daily meals. Add a bag of beans, lentils or peas to your grocery list and you’ll benefit from their many nutrients. They all contain a mega-sized serving of things like:

  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Calcium

You’ll feel full longer and get more energy by adding a side of peas or a bowl of chili to your diet. Try different recipes to find new dishes you’ll fall in love with.

5. Kefir

Kefir is fermented milk, which means that it has cultured bacteria and yeasts that benefit your digestive system. You can find it in many drinks ready to go at your local grocery store or even gas stations. It will regulate your gut microbiota so you can digest food and have regular bowel movements. When your stomach can handle food easily, your body deals with less inflammation caused by cellular stress.

6. Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most revered global diets because it eliminates processed foods and sugar. It also embraces the daily use of olive oil. This type of oil uses monounsaturated fatty acids to create antioxidant properties and decrease inflammation that could lead to health conditions. It’s perfect for frying food on the stove or drizzled over salads.

Eat More Powerful Superfoods

Now that you’ve read about six of the most powerful superfoods, see how you can add them to your diet. You’ll find new ways to enjoy more delicious meals and feel the benefits for yourself once the nutrients start improving your health.

The Power of Switching Off: How to Wind Down from the Day

Relaxing after a difficult day can be hard, especially when we’re surrounded by technology, living in an ‘always-on’ culture, and have a million tasks that need to be completed. However, switching off from work – whatever type of work that may be – is vital for our wellbeing.

Technology and internet usage can have both positive and negative impacts, but we now live in a world where information and services are available at the touch of a button 24/7, and we can connect and communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time. This kind of connectivity can make for a much more productive working day, but when our phones are always within reach and switched on, how do we switch off?

Do not disturb

One of the best ways to make sure work stays at work is to mute any work-related notifications. It’s easy enough to promise yourself you won’t check emails outside of hours, but it becomes a much more difficult task when those notifications start popping up on your home screen.

It’s also worth limiting blue-screen usage as much as possible. If you’ve spent the day staring at a screen, give your eyes a rest! Unplug that laptop and throw your phone onto ‘do not disturb’ mode!

Create a post-work comfort ritual

It helps your mind to set boundaries if you get into ‘home-mode’ from the moment you walk through the door. Getting changed out of your work clothes and into your ‘comfies’ helps to create a psychological association that it’s time to relax and unwind with a nice cup of tea in one of your favourite mugs.

Sometimes, we’re mentally exhausted at the end of the day but not physically tired. It’s really important to acknowledge the difference so that we don’t struggle to sleep when it comes to going to bed. If you find yourself not being physically tired, an activity that involves movement – like going for a walk or playing in the garden with the kids or a pet – is the best way to help us take our minds off the hectic day to day.

Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling

We spend so many of our non-working hours at home, so it’s important to not add to the stress that work can bring. You can do this by creating an environment that is soothing for the mind and comfortable for the body. Research shows that clutter can add to anxiety and stress levels, so keeping a decluttered and serene space in your home makes it easier for those work stresses to melt away after a long day in the office.

Even just the thought of coming home and having to clean can add to stress levels and make it difficult to unwind during the evening. If possible, it’s best to keep the cleaning and tidying tasks to your days off and keep on top of things little and often. When something as simple as decluttering can have an enormous positive impact on our mental health, it’s a no-brainer!

 

Eat well

Maybe you ate at your desk again or maybe you didn’t get a real break and the chance to eat at all? But going home hungry and diving into a bag of crisps and reaching for a bottle of wine can actually affect how well you sleep!

There’s nothing wrong with a savoured glass of wine after a tough day, but make sure you’re accompanying it with a nourishing meal. Why not grab some of your favourite ingredients and make an activity of cooking a healthy wholesome meal to unwind, relish in the smells and the tastes, and take some enjoyment from the process? Fresh bolognese, anyone?

The ‘always-on’ culture is something that isn’t going away any time soon, and although there are positives to living in a more connected world, it’s essential to know when to disconnect and make sure your mental wellbeing is prioritised. One of the most effective ways of leaving stress in the office is to concentrate on making your personal life comforting so that your mind can really enjoy being in the present!

4 Reasons to Consider Starting a Career as a Personal Trainer

Finding a career that excites you and challenges you can be tough. Many of us want to find a job that is flexible in both the working hours and also the daily tasks. One way to find your dream career is by turning a passion into a career.

For instance, if you are someone that keeps fit and active, yet find yourself keeping updated on the latest fitness exercises or hearing about nutrition, then this passion could be a successful career path.

The fitness industry is booming as more people than ever have become interested in having a healthy lifestyle. Included in this boom is the growing need for personal trainers. These are a few reasons why you should consider starting a career as a personal trainer.

Design Days to Suit You

Repetitiveness at work can lead to a lack of interest in your job. Being a personal trainer means that you get to create a great variety of workouts for clients, using innovative scheduling and programming. However, it also allows you to create variety in your working day too. Whilst it will depend on the specialisations that you pursue, one day you could start by helping someone on their journey to lose weight, later you might be motivating an athlete as they prepare for a big sporting event, followed by a session with a rehab patient who is recovering from an injury or illness.

Having the ability to design your schedule and days reduces the chances of boredom whilst at work. In addition to this, by branching out and considering multiple specialisations, you can increase your value as a personal trainer. Investing in personal trainer courses from reputable providers will help with boosting your chances of finding a diverse range of work.

No Limits On What’s Possible

With more areas of speciality behind you, it not only allows you to create diversity in what you do in a day, but it also helps you to earn a bit more. Personal training is no longer a career in which a person is predominantly focused on the one-on-one session between a client and a trainer. If this is your preferred choice, it is still something that you can do, successfully too. Over the years, successful trainers have learned that they can gain more income, whilst keeping their services affordable and in-demand. The reason is that they can offer small group and team training, as well as boot camp-style workouts.

Variety In Opportunities

There is a vast selection of opportunities career-wise for personal trainers. The options range from working in a traditional gym setting or a physical therapy office to working from your own home or online. The popularity of online training is rising as more people are willing to pay a certified personal trainer to create a workout plan for them. Whatever your preference, there are high chances that there is a setting and a role that will suit you best. Alongside the ability to choose from working in a variety of settings, there is also an increasing demand for personal trainers and the services they provide.

Make a Positive Impact

Being a personal trainer provides you with the chance to help people live a happier and healthier lifestyles. You will offer guidance, knowledge and support as you help them on their journey to transform their lives. It is a rewarding role as you get to be at their side each step, and squat, of the way as they go through both mental and physical changes.

Switching careers will always sound like a daunting task. Starting a career in personal training, you will be flooded by the resources available to help you get the necessary training, as well as the ongoing support and continued learning to create a smooth transition. If you are a health and fitness fanatic who loves working with people but want some diversity in your workday, why not consider a career as a personal trainer.

5 Outdoor Workouts to Try Before Summer Ends

Regular exercise boosts your self-confidence and keeps you healthy, but spending so much time in the gym is a bummer when it’s gorgeous outside. Take advantage of the warm weather without skipping your daily workouts by reading about these five outdoor workouts to try before summer ends. You don’t need a gym membership to get your heart rate up and stay in shape while enjoying life before fall rolls around.

1. Take a Rowing Class

If you live near a lake or river, an instructor is likely looking for new students to attend their rowing class. Get into your preferred workout clothes and sign up to get out on the water every week. Rowing in a boat or on a machine engages 86% of your body, so you’ll get the total-body workout you would otherwise create inside a gym while soaring over the water.

2. Find a Volunteer Opportunity

Meet new friends and help your community while staying active by volunteering. Local groups might need an extra dog walker or someone to clean parts of the beach. The physical activity will get your heart rate up and benefit your community simultaneously. Even something as simple as painting a house will get you out of breath and work your muscles in new ways.

3. Try Daily Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding lets you coast over calm waters while working your upper body and core. You’ll practice balancing on an unsteady surface while participating in a sport that’s most popular during the summer. If your city has paddle boarding classes, ensure you have the right gear by getting equipment like:

  • A lifejacket
  • The right type of board
  • A paddle made for your height

Classes range from beginner to advanced skills, so anyone can enjoy paddle boarding while it’s still warm outside. Get a friend to go with you to make the weekly experience even more fun.

4. Pick Up Skateboarding Lessons

It’s no fun to skateboard when it’s cold outside, so try it this summer. You’ll get a good cardio workout going by pushing the board forward and work specific muscle groups like:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Quads

Skateboard around your neighborhood, at a local skate park or down a quiet evening street. You’ll immediately feel the effects of this cool workout and develop an extra skill while you sweat.

5. Start a Disc Golf Team

When you need an active rest day, get a disk golf set. You can play the course at your local public park and work your upper body. You won’t feel super exhausted afterward because it isn’t an intense cardio exercise, but it will keep you on your feet. Utilize your upper body strength to get the best scores and jog over to wherever the discs land after the occasional miss.

Try These Workouts Before Summer Ends

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to change up your exercise routine. Consider these outdoor workouts to try before summer ends to find the best ideas that serve your fitness goals. Whether you paddleboard with a friend at sunset or volunteer in your town, you’ll continue making progress without stepping foot in a gym.

Sleep Dentistry 101: What It Is, How It Works, and What to Expect

Regular cleaning or even a root canal is required for the overwhelming majority of dental patients. However, the thought of going to the dentist fills some individuals with nothing but fear. Some think that the treatment would be more unpleasant than their toothache. It causes people anxiety, and they avoid it at all costs. 

Nonetheless, specific dental treatments aren’t nearly as painful as patients fear. Moreover, medication may be offered to assist in the alleviation of any discomfort. One of these is sleep dentistry which is an essential part of some dental treatments. The process includes the use of sedation for a range of dental problems.  

What Is Sleep Dentistry? 

Sleep dentistry is the practice of putting a patient to sleep during a dental treatment using anesthetics. Sleep dentistry is often mistaken with sedation dentistry, which encompasses various sedative techniques and frequently involves the patient being awake during the treatment. 

During sleep dentistry, on the other hand, the patient remains totally asleep during the procedure. To know further about sleep dentistry, click here for more information. 

 

Who Benefits Sleep Dentistry? 

Sleep dentistry is an excellent choice for the majority of healthy people. To ensure that you’re a suitable candidate for sedation, your dentist will ask you a series of health questions and have you address any concerns you may have. 

Sleep dentistry is beneficial for people experiencing the following: 

  • Severe anxiety when visiting the dentist 
  • Avoiding the dentist for years due to fear of receiving treatment 
  • Concerned about the pain associated with dental treatment 
  • Dislike the sound of the dental tools used 
  • Wish to have a large amount of dental work completed at once 

Please note that adults who should avoid sleep dentistry include pregnant women and those who have previously had an allergic response to sedatives or anesthesia. If you can beat your fear of dental treatment the natural way, the better. Otherwise, you really should take sleep dentistry as your option to overcome your anxiety over dental treatments.  

 

What Are the Benefits Of Sleep Dentistry? 

Sleep dentistry may benefit patients in various ways, most notably by providing comfort to individuals who suffer from extreme anxiety or who must endure complex treatments that might be frightening. Additionally, sleep dentistry entails the following: 

  • Sleep Dentistry Can Suppress Pain 

Pain is the primary concern during significant dental operations such as root canal therapy, tooth extraction, and permanent dental implant placement. If you’re worried about this, you may want to seek sleep dentistry. 

 

  • Sleep Dentistry Can Control Anxiety  

Some individuals have little and manageable anxiety. But their fear of dentists is overpowering and paralyzing for some people. During the process, fear may lead a person to panic. This may lead to dental damage and might impair the quality of the therapy. You can control your anxiousness if you opt for sleep dentistry. 

 

  • Sleep Dentistry Encourages Continuous Procedures 

Sleep dentistry helps to relax people, so they feel less anxious to go for frequent appointments. Thus, your dentist can offer appropriate treatment if a patient is calmer.  

A dental anesthetic helps keep a patient quiet and comfortable for extended periods. In some cases, your dentist may simply combine many treatments in one visit. You benefit from reduced expenses, fewer visits, and a shorter time of cumulative recuperation. 

 

How Does Sleep Dentistry Work? 

Your dentist will discuss the appropriate sleep dentistry procedure during the consultation. It’s important to let your dentist know your questions. Your dentist will explain the process and offer you advice on preparation. From sleep dentistry to sedation, your dentist may give you an option for whichever would work out for you: 

  • Minimal sedation: Here, you’re sedated and relaxed while the dentist is treating you but remain awake during the dental treatment. 
  • Moderate sedation: It’s previously referred to as conscious sedation. While you’re conscious and may be able to utter a few syllables, you typically won’t remember the dental operation. 
  • Deep sedation: This kind of sedation maintains some level of your awareness, but you can’t be woken until the medication given to you wears off. 
  • Complete sedation or sleep dentistry: When you’re given general anesthesia, you’re totally unconscious. This anesthetic is used on individuals experiencing extreme anxiety and who don’t want to remember anything about their therapy. 

You can have your partner, relative, or a trusted friend accompany you to your dental visit since the sedation effects may take some time to subside. That implies you shouldn’t drive, and you need someone to watch you till you become stable.  

 

What To Expect from Sleep Dentistry? 

For each patient, the cost of sleep dentistry may vary. Many aspects may affect sleep dentistry costs. Some frequent issues include the kind of medication for dentistry, the cost of the facility, the number of hours that the treatment lasts, etc. 

Sleep dentistry is safe, but a skilled and qualified dentist needs to administer it. Anesthesia may lead to any issues. Therefore, it’s essential to talk to your doctor before sedation. Ensure that you are diligent in learning about the dentist’s credentials and if they’re accredited to perform sleep dentistry. 

 

Conclusion 

Dental treatments may elicit feelings of fear, anxiety, and dread. Patients shouldn’t disregard dental care or therapy owing because of debilitating fear. If you’re fearful of seeing a dentist, you should ask about sleep dentistry. 

As discussed, sleep dentistry is a novel approach to treating people who’re afraid of the dentist. It promotes anxiety-free dental care, which may result in more effective treatment overall. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of how it works for you and everything you should know about the procedure that your dentist may discuss during your dental appointment.  

3 Conditions That Can Contribute to Slipping and Falling in Old Age

It’s not easy to watch our parents and loved ones age. And it’s even more heartbreaking to watch as they reach the point where it becomes difficult for them to care for themselves.

Our parents and elderly loved ones were there when we took our first steps, and as life goes on, we’ll probably be there to watch as they take their last. This is a part of life that not many want to acknowledge or even think about, but it remains a part of life regardless.

While the complications that come along with old age vary widely among individuals, there are many services that can assist our elderly loved ones. But, regardless of the care they receive, our elderly parents and loved ones are prone to injury or even death because of a minor slip and fall.

Here, we’ll explore the common reasons why older adults are prone to slipping and falling.

 

Impaired Vision

As we age, most of us will notice that our vision becomes much less acute. In fact, visual impairment is largely considered a significant health risk for senior citizens as it can affect numerous aspects of everyday life.

Our vision naturally deteriorates as we age to a certain degree. While some are better able to see than others in old age, there are also other factors which can exacerbate deteriorating vision.

The combination of cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and several other conditions along with naturally deteriorating vision can make it difficult to see, especially at night when most slip and falls happen.

All of the aforementioned conditions make it difficult to see and can alter an otherwise normal sense of depth perception. This only increases the chances of falling when one or more of these conditions persist. Good lighting and proper prescription eyewear can greatly improve the quality of care an elderly person can provide for themselves  

 

Circulatory Issues

When you reach old age, your blood circulation isn’t as healthy as it was in your youth. If you know that pins and needles feeling you get when your leg or arm is subject to restricted blood flow, this becomes more common as we age.

In fact, in many nursing homes across the country, senior citizens fall after getting up due to decreased blood flow in the lower extremities. This can cause serious injury or death, and some residents are considering filing lawsuits when this occurs in elderly care facilities.

Poor blood flow can be the result of many factors, and some theories suggest that it is largely due to poor exercise habits in adulthood, poor sitting habits, and poor diet.

In addition to circulatory issues, other factors such as arthritis, leg fatigue, or previous injury to the hips, feet and joints can cause issues with balance and walking.

 

Neurological Disorders

Perhaps the worst part of aging is the fact that your mental agility is greatly reduced. In fact, it is thought that cognitive function actually first begins to slowly deteriorate between the ages of 45 and 50 in some cases, but on average this might not begin until around the age of 70, and our cognitive function slowly decreases from there on.

Aside from bouts of mild confusion and slowed brain function, there are a few disorders which contribute to loss of awareness and depth perception. Such disorders as Dementia and Alzheimer’s are thought to be the two most influential conditions when it comes to choosing to place a parent or loved one into a care facility.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s can alter a person’s state of perception to the degree that they might believe they’re someone else or somewhere else. This can also result in falling and slipping, or finding themselves in precarious environments. For example, it’s not uncommon for a Dementia or Alzheimer’s patient to find themselves out in the middle of the road, on a rooftop, or in an otherwise dangerous situation.

We were all brought into the world by parents and those who chose to care for us. And, as life moves onward in step with the beat of time, we will ultimately all find ourselves having to deal with the conditions of old age.

Though none of us know how capable we will be when we’re older, taking the steps now to mitigate injury later in life and ensure that we age gracefully is fully in our power.

Tips for Securing the Best Personal Injury Settlement

If you experience an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to secure a personal injury settlement. You need to make many decisions during this crucial time that can better your chances of gaining compensation.  

Securing a settlement means your case will be resolved before it ever needs to go to trial. If you have a strong claim, you can make the legal process more straightforward and potentially claim your compensation more quickly

A comprehensive plan of action will help you to navigate these matters effectively. You must also do your best to nurture a positive and proactive mindset, despite the hardship you may have suffered or continue to experience. Settlements can be hard-won, but with the right amount of courage and support, you can secure the funds that are rightfully yours without stepping foot inside a courtroom.

Here are some tips to help you secure the best personal injury settlement available to you. 

 

Try to Stay Calm

Though you are dealing with injury and potential trauma, it is important to be as calm and confident as possible. Your decision-making processes will benefit from a clear and focused mind.

Be sure to build an effective support network around you. Family and friends can make a crucial difference in your outlook, so be sure to ask them for words of support. Try not to worry about being a burden either. Your true friends and most loving family members will be glad to rally around you, so utilize all the help offered to you.

Try to find some stability within yourself, also. Be kind to yourself, partake in activities that help you feel calm and collected, and forgive any of your potential shortcomings, big or small. You could try meditation in your free time, go on leisurely walks, or unwind any other way that you prefer.

It may also help to try and turn your stress into a positive where possible. It can motivate you into action, driving you to work harder and faster for longer. Securing a settlement is a process, but a more optimistic perspective may help you safeguard your wellbeing and craft a more effective claim and demand letter.  

Focus on Future Damages

Once you can remain calm, you can then begin to gain a fuller view of what your personal injury settlement can involve. You will be more likely to refrain from making rash decisions.

Take your future into account. While it can be tempting to clinch the first offer that comes your way, it is far better to practice patience and wait for a better offer that covers future damages. First offers are often on the lower side, so refusing it can show all parties involved that you are serious about claiming fair and just compensation.

Remember, the money you receive needs to last you if your injuries are severe. The compensation should not just give your bank balance a quick boost but instead be a real investment in your future wellbeing. It all needs to cover loss of income or recovery costs, so try to keep those factors in mind.

Patience is a virtue, so long as you make your claim within the three-year window of the accident occurring. Give yourself time to center yourself and collect all your evidence before the statute of limitations runs its course. That way, you will not rush the proceedings.

Be Thorough When Gathering Evidence

Evidence makes your personal injury claim more credible. It can also help any legal representation you hire make more persuasive arguments on your behalf, favoring facts over conjecture.

Remember, rules can also vary on what you need to prove and disprove, depending on your location. For example, there has been debate about whether contracting the coronavirus count at work counts as a workplace injury in certain states. Many people must work especially hard to prove they acquired it on the job while others face little trouble. Do your own research to see how these variations may pertain to you.  

Regardless of your circumstances, you should be prepared to gather evidence thoroughly. You can do this effectively by:

  • Consulting witnesses – If any bystanders had a clear view and understanding of what happened to you, they may be willing to support your claim.
  • Providing photographic evidence – Take pictures of your injuries when they are fresh and mark any milestones in the recovery process. Be sure to photograph the location of the accident and any hazards that resulted in your injuries.
  • Collecting documentation – Doctor’s assessments, personal journals, financial assessments, verdicts from relevant professionals (e.g. builders inspections of faulty construction work), and the results of any relevant psychiatric evaluations may strengthen your case.

Be sure to focus on the physical, mental, and emotional aftermath of your injuries also. A prognosis may help communicate the lasting impact your hurts will have on your daily life and orchestrate a more resonant case.

Secure Great Representation

If you cannot secure your settlement yourself, a qualified attorney can help you to make progress and set matters right. Still, it would help if you were selective when choosing who you ally yourself with.

Your legal representatives need to be of good stock with an unwavering commitment to your betterment. They should strive to understand every facet of what you experienced and continue to experience because of your injuries.

The best representation tailors their service to your needs. Even if you are dealing with a CPAP cancer lawsuit or a sleep apnea machine lawsuit, lawyers will highlight a commitment to understanding your symptoms and legal rights fully. They offer small firm focused attention while providing big firm results and can even hold so-called ‘untouchable’ businesses accountable for their actions.

A vast network of attorneys and resources can be detrimental to your success. You can confide in your lawyers fully, as they are completely on your side from the beginning to the end. Knowing that there is always earnest help out there can be a comforting thought on its own. In the end, great legal representation can instill you with hope.  

Refine Your Skills

While strong representation is crucial, you should try to understand the proceedings more yourself. It can minimize delays and establish a more productive relationship between you and your attorney.

Try to take some initiative where possible. You can do this by:

  • Learning argument principles – Your claims may sound more plausible and persuasive if they are cohesive and well-structured.
  • Listening attentively – Your personal injury attorney will offer plenty of advice and guidance during the tenure of their services. Taking their feedback on board and listening to their reality checks could be essential. You can make notes and read up on them later too.
  • Researching how the law works – Investigate how personal injury settlements develop to understand jargon, rules, and regulations better, or how the proceedings may unfold. You may be able to save time for your representation as well, as they may need to field fewer elementary questions from you.
  • Delving into cases like yours – Building your awareness around similar personal injury claims may give you a point of reference or inspiration when structuring your case.
  • Practicing public speaking – Articulating your situation clearly should help you present a more compelling case. You may also appear more truthful when there is a sense of consistency in your demeanor.

Bring much of yourself to the proceedings. Attorneys can represent you effectively, but your claims may appear more substantial if you can fight your own corner when called upon. It may also communicate to the opposition how serious you are about the claim. You may also find it easier to teamwork with your lawyer once you are figuratively speaking their language more often.

Monitor Your Behavior

Being personable may help to increase the likelihood of you securing a fair settlement. Therefore, it is vital to be of excellent and consistent character.

If you are a social media user, try to use these tools with discretion, or better yet, not at all during the settlement period. Your use of online platforms can either help or hinder your case, as even writing your thoughts online or liking and sharing posts can be interpreted as evidence in legal proceedings. If your social media pages are filled with activity that contrasts who you are in the settlement period, it can call everything you and your legal team have built into question.

Basic rules of politeness strongly apply also. The more respectful you are, the more you will convince the opposing party that a jury will take your side should the case go to court. You need that leverage if you hope to succeed. After that, the opposition will likely have no choice but to pay compensation. The better you behave, the sooner you can secure justice.

Conclusion

You can increase your chances of getting the best personal injury settlement possible by following the guidelines outlined above. Remain true to your cause and plan meticulously. Enlist expert help with a personal injury lawyer should your claims require a little more finesse and build your case from a solid foundation of research, calm, and good behavior. After that, fair compensation should surely follow.

Aesthetic Practices Adapt to Millennial Patient Needs

If you were to ask a millennial about their skincare routine, it would likely entail a multi-step process that happens both day and night. It would probably include cleansers, toners, moisturizers, exfoliants and more. The days of washing your face with bar soap are over.

With more supplements, advancements in cosmetic procedures and an uptick in beauty products, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that millennials are changing the aesthetic landscape. Whether it’s going in for routine facials or undergoing a more formal treatment like Botox, people in this generation value skincare.

No matter the industry, the ability to cater to millennials is a good business practice. Because millennials make up most of the world’s population, adjusting to emerging trends and employing new marketing strategies help businesses thrive in a competitive environment. Standing out from the crowd is necessary if a company wants to experience growth and profit.

Let’s examine some of the ways millennials are altering how estheticians and other beauty professionals view their practice and make necessary changes.

Hyper-Awareness of Appearance

One of the most prevalent reasons millennials seek out aesthetic treatment is directly related to how much time is spent looking at their appearances. Millennials spend a lot of time on social media, where appearances are easily manipulated with filters and photo editing apps.

The popularity of apps like Instagram and Facebook contributes to this trend — millennials are hyper-aware of their appearance. There’s evidence that shows how millennials are constantly on the internet, and it’s crucial to consider how social media impacts their self-esteem and perception of themselves.

Increases in Aesthetic Requests

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, INC (AAFPRS) found that more young people had cases of “selfie-awareness,” which, as a result, increased their requests to receive some kind of cosmetic surgery. Millennials want to improve their looks and engage in preventative care, such as anti-aging procedures and IV fluid therapy. Below are some standard practices that millennials are going through that contribute to the changes in the cosmetic surgery industry.

Rise in Tweakments

When we think of Botox, it’s common to envision A-list celebrities with shiny, tight faces on the red carpet. While stars still undergo these types of procedures, it’s becoming more mainstream. More millennials are opting to receive low doses of fillers like Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, to name a few.

This approach is seen as preventative, so it’s no wonder that younger people are more willing to make these changes early on in their lives. Preventing wrinkles and crow’s feet to improve the appearance is nothing new, but it’s certainly an emerging trend.

Laser Procedures

Another popular aesthetic trend among millennials to achieve anti-aging results is the Fraxel treatment. Receiving this kind of treatment has its benefits:

  • Improve skin tone
  • Reduce brown spots
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improve the appearance of acne scars

Rather than treat fine lines and wrinkles later on in life, millennials are incredibly proactive in their skincare and aim to avoid further procedures in the future.

It’s evident that the demand for these procedures is increasing due to the millennial generation, also called the “Selfie Generation.”

Keeping Up with Patient Needs

It will certainly be interesting to see estheticians and cosmetic surgeons make changes to their practice due to the increasing requests for various procedures. Because millennials are hyper-aware of their appearance and want to prevent aging early on, aesthetic practices will likely continue to evolve.

5 of the Most Effective Natural Ways to Deal with Stress

With modern life becoming increasingly hectic and with time for relaxation being reduced in favour of longer working weeks, the modern professional has become subjected to higher levels of stress than ever before. Any tips and advice that you can implement to reduce the effect of stress on the overall lifestyle and wellbeing should be seen as long-term solutions,
and those detailed herein require nothing more than a few moments in the day. Before spending both time and money on any pricey quick fixes, it’s best to start off by looking at what you can do that will cost nothing and that you can start today, in fact, right now.

Be More Mindful

Meditation techniques have become varied and widespread, and of these, the most effective, proven way to reduce the effects of stress is the art of mindfulness. Being mindful of how you live your life instead of simply rushing from task to task and enjoying the small pleasures in life is the start to being mindful. Slowing down, actually thinking before you do things and before you react is the best way to ensure that you reduce your levels of stress.

It is proven that the best time for mindfulness is in the morning and being able to just sit and contemplate your day before it starts is a great way to simply tone down the pressures.

It is also advised that as you feel the onset of anxiety and stress related to a daily routine or work process and function, it is best to think these things through before you rush in and do them. Mindfulness is simple in the sense that it’s just about slowing down and being aware of the things that you do, and those that cause you some anxiety and stress will arguably require a little more time and thought.

Increase the Quality and Quantity of your Rest and Sleep

Ensuring that the body receives at least six hours of quality sleep a day and then trying to add to these hours whenever you can will be essential for both the mind and the body to recharge and heal itself. The lower limit of six hours is used herein, but this is because for many, sleep is the first thing to go out the window when stress rears its head. The constant worry about the things you should be doing can lead to many sleepless nights. Unless this is actively dealt with, it will simply build and develop further to create more stress and anxiety as the brain struggles to keep up without rest. Thoughts become foggy, the mood lowers, and many become quick to anger without the right amount of sleep. Listen to your body, and when tired, rest, ensuring that you sleep as much as your body needs.

If this aspect is a difficulty don’t be afraid to look for natural sleep remedies and supplements, as some of the old wives tales and the chamomile and lavender under the pillow may indeed help, ensure as with anything else you have enough information to make a credible decision and the same would be said for the use of CBD for improved sleep, just make sure that you have all the CBD info that you need to be able to choose the right strengths and through a reputable supplier.

Exercise

Being active will increase the body’s endorphins, and these will serve to distract you from your daily stresses. Also known as the runner’s high, any anaerobic exercise will serve to both increase overall health as well as providing the same feel-good emotions. Not only will it take your mind off the stress, but exercise also conditions the body to prepare for a stress response; the increased heart rate during exercise becomes manageable physical stress and will be the same for heightened periods of anxiety.

Laugh

Finding joy in the little things in life is one of the surest ways to lead a happy, fulfilled life. A positive change in mood can do wonders for your overall approach to the day or to a task that normally creates anxiety and stress. As stress levels increase, the body tenses up, and the smallest things can cause an emotional overload. The traditional saying that laughter is the best medicine is, in fact, true, and the best way to feel good about yourself and relieve stress is to laugh. Laughter is the release valve, and as you laugh, the muscles have no option but to relax. A good laugh can release muscular and physical tension for up to 45 minutes.

Spend Time with Family

Spending time with those you love, friends, and family provides a simple, readily accessed psychological relief. Talking about the stress experienced and perhaps finding solutions and getting advice is a great way to deal with stress and anxiety before it manifests in other more harmful ways.

Many people who need to find ways to reduce and relieve stress have even gone as far as finding others to help, and volunteering has become a great way to reduce your own stress levels. The accepted premise being that volunteering is actually good for your health and will generally cost you nothing. Whether it is doing a garden for an elderly neighbour or fundraising for your local charity, giving back to others who need it more than you do is a great way to always feel good about yourself. It must be noted, though, that it is imperative not to take any of the issues home with you.

The tips mentioned and discussed herein are all incredibly simple and thus cost-effective ways of dealing with what has become one of the most common health issues in the modern world. For many out there that experience stress and anxiety, who are always tense and struggle to relax, the promoted option has always been to medicate and spend on pricey new-fangled ideas and methods. When actually, the easiest, simplest ways to deal with and, in fact, reduce stress levels can be as simple as those items aforementioned and should cost you little to nothing.

3 Important Advancements In Mental Health Treatment

As pointed out by various studies done across the globe, mental health illnesses are claimed to be one of the primary drivers of disability. The National Institute of Mental Health even reported that nearly one in five adults living in the US experiences a mental illness in any given year. Considering its prevalence, mental health prevention programs and treatments must be made accessible to society to meet these demands.

Gladly, over the past decade, there has been an increased participation of people getting interested to learn more about mental health. This increased awareness has encouraged people to address their mental health needs, and get immediate treatment.

Technology And Mental Health Treatment

Technological upgrades were previously esteemed for their contribution in physical disease detection and management. Today, advancements and new discoveries have paved the way toward improving how clinicians approach and deliver mental health care.

For instance, with the rise of pharmacogenomics, clinicians can now make refined decisions with regards to medication dosage and the types of drugs that work well with the patient. This breakthrough can truly help more clinicians to learn more in creating personalized treatment programs for their patients. 

Improvements In Mental Health Treatment 

All these promising upgrades in mental health aid and treatment aim to encourage people to seek mental health care. With all these, you might get interested to know about the important improvements in mental health treatment. To show you, check out the following innovations:

 

1. Telemental Health Services 

Traditional psychotherapy is unarguably effective for most people. However, with all these surrounding technological advancements, clinicians have learnt to leverage on these widespread platforms.

While telemental health isn’t new to the field, this advancement has truly contributed a positive impact toward mental health accessibility. This mental health service helps address geographical problems when it comes to receiving mental health aid. This bridges gaps between remote patients and psychologists, allowing them to receive real-time assistance in their personal devices. You no longer need to drive once a week to see your psychologist as you can attend your sessions in the comfort of your home.

For others, this can be a great jumpstart to exploring how therapy can alter the quality of their lives. Apart from making simple lifestyle changes, regularly communicating with a therapist can help you improve your mental health.

Today, telemental health is gaining momentum as other countries are still implementing quarantine and physical distancing measures. However, even if the world already has bounced back from the pandemic, this widespread advancement will continue to remain relevant as this can complement traditional therapy services. 

If more people maximize this opportunity and witness actual improvements, this might encourage others to seek therapy and treatment, too. Nonetheless, telemental health services might not be appropriate for people suffering from severe mental health conditions. It would be best to talk to your psychologist, and ask their opinion regarding this new innovation and how you can take advantage of this.

2. Online Support Communities

Mental health treatment doesn’t only stop between clinician and client. To strengthen progress, support systems and online communities may be necessary, especially to people who attempt to isolate themselves. 

These online communities are one of the most prevalent treatment trends as it helps people learn from one another, open up with their personal struggles, share practical insights with symptom management, and even offer encouragement to consistently attend their therapy sessions and follow their treatment program.

Moreover, connecting and talking about these shared experiences may also have a therapeutic effect, even if participants are physically apart. 

3. Self-Management Applications

Self-management apps are timely and practical as nearly everyone has a smartphone they carry most of the time. Its ease of use and accessibility can encourage clients to be more proactive in taking care of their mental health.

On the clinician’s end, self-management applications can help supplement traditional psychotherapy, and even blended counselling. On the patient’s end, this can help them become more accountable in following their medications, dietary plans, and other components of the treatment program. 

Every app falls into a specific mental health category. There are mood and symptom tracking apps, anxiety management, and even mindfulness platforms. For instance, if you’re suffering from chronic anxiety, a few reliable apps can help you deal with your triggers, and address them in a healthier way.

While every application has different perks and features, their collective goal is to help patients gain more understanding with their condition, make informed decisions, explore new methods for self-care, seek support, and more.

Furthermore, for people experiencing mild problems, these software programs can generally help improve the quality of their lives, and even debunk misconceptions regarding mental health treatment. 

However, there is still a handful of mixed notions regarding the efficacy of these apps. Some people may rely on these alone and abandon therapy altogether, which is impractical. Hence, before you explore these innovations, do more research and speak to a professional. 

The Takeaway

The above advancements in mental health treatment have opened new avenues for people to seek professional intervention, connect with their peers, and manage their symptoms. 

While you might tend to quickly hop into these upgrades, it would be best to consult an expert regarding the utility and efficacy of these advancements. Your mental health provider can offer you recommendations and insights on how to best maximize these for your benefit.

Top Places We’ve Gone for Walks Over the Last Year

If the last year or so taught us anything, it’s the importance of reconnecting with nature. Over lockdown, we had little to do but go for walks. To get out of the house and keep our minds and bodies stimulated, many of us returned to simpler times and were reminded of the beautiful views and good feelings we have when we’re venturing outdoors.

According to Sport England’s Active Lives Survey 2020, a strong upward trend in walking has been occurring over the last two years, even before lockdown. 20.3 million of the English population were walking for leisure last year, an increase of 1.2 million on the previous 12 months before that.

Having an active lifestyle, including regular walks, is a fantastic way to promote mental health and wellbeing. Self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality are benefitted while stress, anxiety, and fatigue are reduced. Walking is accessible and free and is the ideal exercise for everyday life.

Here, we’ll explore the most searched for walking routes to find the best places people have been retreating to over the best part of a stressful year. The UK is adorned with fantastic countryside walks and coastal views from the top of Scotland to the bottom of Cornwall. While the weather is often unpredictable, gorgeous walks are guaranteed.

We gathered Google search data from June 2020 to July 2021 to find out which walks experienced the highest per cent increase over the last year. We then created a list to help you find the best places to clear your mind – so get your women’s and men’s trainers on and get exercising. 

Most popular walks:

 

1. The Old Man of Coniston, Lake District

Searches for “Easy route up Old Man of Coniston” experienced the biggest increase with 2,100%. The Old Man of Coniston is located in the Furness Fells in the Lake District in Cumbria. It is a fell at least 2,632.61 feet high situated not far from the Coniston Water Lake. The entire walk is around 6.2 miles and takes around three and a half hours.

Key Benefits of Having Dental Implants

While most visits to the dentist simply involve a regular check-up, other times, the process can be more involved. Maintaining good oral hygiene isn’t always a straightforward effort.

After all, many people fear the dentist and look for ways to overcome their anxiety. They may be fretting over any work that needs doing or worrying about subsequent pains from any procedures. The list of concerns is almost endless, but ensuring that you have a healthy mouth should always be a priority.

Dental implements can be the answer to numerous concerns related to your oral hygiene. Invest in these products, and you might be able to enjoy a stress-free experience with your teeth from now on.

Here are some of the key benefits of having dental implants.

You’ll Have a Natural Smile

Your smile says many things about your character. Therefore, you should never try to suppress or subdue it.

Dental implants can give you a smile to be proud about. They do not look like cheap, last-minute ways to cover tooth loss. Additionally, they do not appear as being too fake with blinding whiteness either. Instead, they carry off a more natural look in their use. Most people will likely not recognise you have had dental implants at all unless you tell them yourself.

Remember, teeth can often be a source of frustration and even social division at the best of times. Your smile will not be out of place nor a subject for gossip amongst your friends. Instead, it will just be perfectly normal, which can be a blessing if you’re just hoping to smile again without overthinking things.

Your Self-Esteem May Develop

Tooth loss is not always a result of bad oral hygiene. Unfortunately, some people can experience injuries that result in tooth loss or simply undergo some of the adverse effects of ageing.

So long as you’re in good general health and have a mouth free of decay and diseases, dental implants are a viable option. Don’t torture yourself into thinking you’re without options. Whether you have lost one tooth or many, knowing that you can get things back on track in your life is always a comforting thought.

Other ways of fixing teeth can present issues too. For instance, dentures may often be the cause of slurred speech. Users may also need to restrict themselves to eating less hard and crunchy foods, potentially leading to feelings of missing out in social situations. Dental implants are strong and sturdy and can enable you to eat whatever you like at any juncture.

It’s also nice to practice different forms of self-care. Looking after your body and general health in any capacity is one of the best things you can do to feel better about yourself. Dental implants can be a valuable part of any self-improvement initiative, so explore options here to build your confidence and self-esteem.

Your Professional Prospects May Improve

Unfortunately, the world can be a judgmental place. Any job interview you go to will show you that fact first-hand.  

Still, if you have had dental implements to improve your self-esteem, you may just be able to perform better in situations like job interviews. After all, confidence and smiles are essential aspects of acing the interview process, so your dental implants could help you portray the image of an eager professional.

While your dental situation is by no means a reflection of your work capabilities, many employers note every flaw in your demeanour as they interact with you. They may make decisions by judging your apparent level of nerves, the attire you chose to wear, or your oral hygiene. Of course, this won’t apply to every job. However, if the role you’re hoping for demands that you represent the business amongst important clients, then poor and even no teeth may stand against you.

Employers may also make assumptions that you simply don’t take care of yourself or perhaps that you have been in a few fights that could have resulted in tooth loss. Of course, all these judgments are baseless, but they’re nevertheless prevalent. Ultimately, finding a job may be easier if you have a good set of dental implants.

Dental Implants Last a Long Time

Looking after your teeth can often seem like a constant uphill battle. However, dental implants can ease off some of the pressures here.

Find tips in understanding more about dental implants from Oracle Dental Clinics, as the surgical components are at the core of their specialist practices. They explain that dental implants rarely break and can last up to decades, but this depends on how well they’re maintained and what usage they undergo. Their Clinical Dental Technician also provides market-leading denture services to patients, so contact them if you need Direct Access hygiene appointments, Prosthodontics Oral Surgery, or anything else in oral hygiene care. 

The endurance of dental implants can mean that you don’t need to worry about embarrassing social situations. After all, dentures and veneers have a history of falling out at inopportune times. Dental implants are more reliable by comparison as they are infused with your jawbone, similarly to natural teeth.

You Can Enhance Your Facial Structure

Tooth loss can have ramifications for other parts of your face. Missing teeth can cause your jawbone to shrink slowly, causing your bone and facial muscles to lack support over time.

You may not notice these nuances in your appearance at first. However, if you have missing teeth for long enough, you may eventually perceive yourself as somehow being shrunken and dishevelled. Fortunately, dental implants can address these concerns and ensure that you have a strong jawline and facial structure for a long time to come.

Of course, it’s not nice to be self-conscious about your appearance, especially if you don’t understand why you’re looking a certain way so suddenly. You can at least close your mouth with missing teeth. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to hide problems with the muscles and bones in your face. Still, dental implants can often resolve this issue.

Oral Hygiene Measures Will be More Authentic

If you have dentures, the cleaning process will involve taking them out of your mouth and placing them in a chemical solution. These measures kill any accumulated bacteria and keep them clean. 

Because dental implants are planted within your jawbone, you can maintain them with a toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste. Flossing will also be effective in removing leftovers and stains from harder to reach areas. They aren’t removed at any stage in this process. In other words, you can simply adhere to a regular dental hygiene schedule in maintaining them.

Of course, it is not particularly attractive to take bits of yourself out and give them a clean before popping them back in again. If you live with a partner, you can keep some of your dignity intact as you attend to your toothbrushing routine. Ultimately, these toothcare measures are entirely natural, once again playing into that sense of authenticity.

Conclusion

Hopefully, the points above have persuaded you to secure dental implants from market leaders should you ever need them. Tooth loss can be a traumatic experience, but these solutions can bring normalcy. Whether you can go back to eating better foods or empower yourself to step back into the job market more confidently, there are plenty of reasons here to help you start smiling again.

5 Ways To Market A New Home Care Business

Running a home care business is an honourable pursuit, but it’s also not an easy one. Apart from caring for your patients, there are bills that need to be paid. There has to be that perfect balance of earning enough profit to keep your home care business running but not at the expense of providing nothing less than first-class care for your patients.

Just like any other business, it’s, therefore, important to come up with an actionable home care marketing plan. This is needed to promote your business’ existence, as well as to convince your potential clients and their respective families that your home care is the best choice.

With that said, here are the best ways to market your new home care business, especially when you’re still starting out:

 

1. Create A Strong Brand Identity

To give your home care business an edge against your competitors, creating a strong brand identity is very important. Given the digital age today, one of the best ways to achieve this is by marketing on social media. The goal here should be, when a family thinks about home care for their sick or elderly loved ones, your business consistently makes it on top of their list.

Along that line, here are workable tips on how you can create a strong brand identity for your new home care business:

  • Set aside a budget for digital marketing. Among all marketing forms, digital marketing continues to reign supreme.
  • Speak at local events. Many medical schools often hold seminars regarding home health care. When these are available, make it a point to speak during these seminars so you can establish your name and authority in-home health care.

 

2. Ask For Referrals From Current Clients

When it comes to a service-oriented business like your home care, there’s often nothing that beats word of mouth marketing. Amidst all other more advanced marketing forms, word of mouth marketing, which is one of the simplest, is still very effective.

Your current clients who are more than satisfied with the care they’re receiving from your home care business will do their part to get the word out about your business. This is also known as testimonial marketing. Since the testimonies are from their first-hand experience, other potential clients who can hear those positive comments will take your current clients’ word for it.

The best way to get those referrals and testimonials from your current clients and their respective families is to focus on developing a good relationship with them right from the start.

 

3. Update Your Social Media Account Frequently

It’s not just enough to focus on having a social media account and then not keeping it active. An inactive social media account can even be one of your pitfalls as this sends the wrong message to online users who’ll come across it. Since you haven’t updated your social media page, would-be clients might be under the impression you’re an illegitimate entity, you’ve closed down, or you aren’t providing superior quality. In that case, it’s better to have no social media account at all than to have an inactive one.

It’s important to keep it updated as frequently as possible. You can post about anything on your social media account. This can include real images of your clients, with their permission, of course. It can also comprise some of your daily activities, promotions you may have, or further certification and training your staff may be undergoing at the moment.

 

4. Create A Google My Business Profile

Apart from social media, another online tool you can use to improve your marketing efforts is an online business directory, specifically Google My Business.

When your business is listed on this platform, it can significantly widen your reach. Note that with the rise of smartphones, many individuals are making searches for companies they wish to do business with on the Internet.

If you don’t have a Google My Business listing, you may lose those would-be clients in favour of those other local home care businesses that have one.

 

5. Distribute Branded And Print Goods

Whenever you attend seminars or conferences, make it a point to prepare branded and printed goods. These can include anything from pens, tote bags, shirts, fans, and notebooks, among many others. You can also have these types of merchandise in your lobby so you can hand them to families who are making new inquiries.

Branded and print goods are other forms of effective marketing tactics simply because they serve as walking advertisements. Every time the recipients bring out and use those things, the word is out about your brand’s existence.

 

Conclusion

Home health care is a booming industry, given that no matter the circumstance, people will always age. As much as children will want to care for their ageing parents by themselves, this isn’t always doable. Adult children also have families of their own and other responsibilities. But this doesn’t mean they love their parents any less. Sending them to a home care is often one of the best ways to ensure the needs of the ageing population are attended to and they’re given the best love and support during the sunset years of their life.

9 Ways to Reset and Restore Your Gut Health

Your gut is more than just a place for digesting food. It’s believed to be home to trillions of microorganisms (also called the microbiome) that help with breaking down the food you eat. A great balance of gut microorganisms is what’s considered a healthy gut. Making sure your gut is healthy is important for your general physical and mental health. After all, as they say, you are what you eat.

Over time, the microorganisms in your gut may become unbalanced. If unhealthy bacteria overwhelm the healthy ones, then your health could be at risk. You, therefore, have to reset your gut every once in a while, to keep your health in tip-top shape. 

Without further ado, here are some ways to restore your gut health. 

1. Go Vegetarian

Research on vegetarian diets and their links to healthy gut flora documents that vegetarians are likely to have more beneficial gut bacteria than meat-eaters. It’s suggested that about six weeks of a vegetarian diet could significantly boost your microbiome health. As such, why not try vegetarian meals to reset your gut health?

It’s suggested that plant-based diets are rich in prebiotics, which could help boost the population of the good bacteria in your gut. This may, in turn, help with your weight maintenance and overall health. Vegetables are also believed to be good for your gut as they give indigestion relief, among other things.

2. Try Probiotics 

Restoring your gut health involves posting the number of healthy bacteria in your gut, and probiotics are said to do just that. Probiotics consist of live beneficial bacteria that are found in some food supplements. Some studies have revealed that probiotics can boost the number of healthy microorganisms in the gut, thereby improving intestinal functions in the body. 

Probiotics can be found in approved drug stores, health shops, and online platforms. Foods like plain yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, tempeh, and other fermented foods are said to be probiotic-rich. You could try such probiotic foods to reset your gut health. They’re also said to be useful in reducing the risk of gut inflammation and other intestinal problems, like indigestion and heartburn

3. Take Prebiotic Fiber

Not to be confused with probiotics, yet equally important, are prebiotics. These are non-digestible carbohydrates and fibers which feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Eating prebiotic foods may be a great way to help restore your gut health. It’s believed that when you eat prebiotics, you encourage the healthy bacteria to multiply, thereby creating an ideal environment for a well-balanced microbiome. 

Food rich in prebiotics include:

  • Asparagus
  • Whole grains
  • Chicory
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Garlic
  • Bananas
  • Onions

If you thought eating whole grains was lame, this should be a good reason to change your mind. 

4. Avoid Eating Sugar 

Sugar may taste nice, but it can be hazardous to your gut health. Some experts have suggested that too much sugar can result in an imbalance of gut bacteria. Researchers have also concluded that artificial sweeteners may also cause an increase in bacteria linked with conditions like heart disease and diabetes. To reset your gut health, you may need to stay away from sugar for a bit.

5. Stop Stressing 

Have you ever wondered why you either get a bout of diarrhea or the urge to pee when you’re stressed? Stress has always been said to have a negative impact on health, including the gut. When you’re stressed, you could disrupt the healthy bacteria in your gut. 

Some studies have revealed that stress increases gut motility and fluid secretion. A few people also said that their usual bowel moments are delayed when they are stressed. 

If you want to restore your gut health, therefore, you have to stop stressing. How? You may wonder. Try the following suggested stress reduction techniques:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy food
  • Drink enough water 
  • Do the things you love
  • Talk to somebody 

6. Don’t Misuse Antibiotics 

Antibiotics are useful prescription drugs for dealing with bacterial infections. It may be necessary to take them sometimes when your doctor prescribes their use. Outside of this, it may not be a great idea to take antibiotics when you don’t have to. Apart from it being a recipe for antibiotic resistance by bacteria, overuse is also said to possibly affect even the healthy bacteria in your gut.  

However, if you feel you need to reset your gut health, stay clear of antibiotics unless you absolutely have to take them. It’s always wise, after all, to discuss the use of antibiotics with your doctor. 

7. Exercise 

Physical exercise is said to contribute to your overall health. It’s also believed to help with improved blood circulation and good weight maintenance. These, in turn, could contribute towards a balanced microbiome. 

To reset your gut health, therefore, you may need to start exercising. Experts suggest at least 150 hours of physical exercise per week. They also say muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week may be beneficial to your overall health. Just remember to do it all in moderation. 

8. Sleep Well

Experts suggest at least seven hours of sleep for adults per day. They say, when you sleep, you allow your body to replenish and rejuvenate itself. This includes gut activities and flora. As highlighted earlier, lack of adequate sleep is associated with stress, which could negatively impact your gut health. 

If, therefore, you are detoxing and rejuvenating your gut health, you could consider getting enough regular sleep. 

9. Quit Smoking 

Smoking is said to be hazardous to your health. They say when you smoke, you risk getting stomach ulcers and polyps. Ulcers are believed to cause internal stomach bleeding, which can reduce the health of your gut. 

If you quit smoking, however, you’ll stand a good chance of improving your gut flora. This, coupled with other healthy habits, could help reset your gut health.

Recap

Your gut is believed to be home to trillions of bacteria which can be good or bad. Good microorganisms are said to help with breaking down the food you eat. The bad bacteria, on the other hand, can have negative effects on your body. If you have too many bad bacteria in your gut, your health will be compromised. 

It’s advisable to boost your gut health now and again to keep your overall health on point. Some tips on doing so include taking probiotics and prebiotics, exercising, getting adequate sleep, opting for more vegetables on your diet, quitting smoking, and avoiding stress, antibiotics, as well as sugars.

Remember, you are what you eat. So, let your food be your medicine, and your medicine your food. 

Best Ways to Look After Yourself in 2021: A Brief Guide

After a tough year of uncertainty, you should look into ways to look after yourself and return to some form of normality. Here’s some tips to get you started in 2021.

Socialising Where Possible

You’d be surprised at how much your day could be improved simply by having a conversation with someone. Socialising is good for you, because it helps stimulate your mind, reduce stress and combat feelings of loneliness, as well as help to boost your self-esteem, assuming the conversation is a positive one.

Protecting Your Mental Health

Something that a lot more people are struggling with in recent years, is managing and protecting their mental health. Some people don’t like to talk about it, just because it isn’t a physical ailment, but it’s arguably even more important, or at least just as important, than any other physical element of your body.

There are multiple ways in which you can look after your mental health, such as keeping yourself busy with friendly tasks such as nature walks or doing a hobby, or even trying something new. It’s important that you reach out for help when you feel like you need it, as you should never go through this alone.

Gym And Exercising

Physically speaking, you can vastly improve your wellbeing by working out either at home, outside or at the gym. The good news is that even physically working out could help boost your mental health, as it releases natural endorphins into your system, which help boost your motivation and productivity.

Whilst the gyms are a great place to consider working out, you may be hesitant to sign up until the end of COVID-19 is here. In that case, consider bringing the gym to your home, either in terms of like-for-like equipment of just the workouts you’ve learned.

There are plenty of options when it comes to equipment at home, from treadmills and weight machines, to fold away indoor bikes and free weights. All you really need, is enough space around you for when you stretch out your arms without hitting anything. This way, you will be able to complete a variety of workout routines without impeding yourself or anyone else.

Signing Up To Private Healthcare

One of the best ways in which you can look after yourself, is by getting the best advice and care that you possibly can. This could be done by signing up to private healthcare. There are many advantages to having private healthcare, mostly it helps you get seen quicker.

Often times, when you have an issue that needs seeing, you will have to wait a few weeks just to get seen. With private healthcare, you will be able to get almost instant access to a team of doctors and nurses who are on standby to assist.

If you have to spend any time at a doctors or hospital for longer than a day, then you will be happy to hear that these private facilities have plenty of luxuries available, such as Wi-Fi and private TVs for your room. Gone are the days of having to share a big room with multiple people, you will have access to private en suite rooms, giving you access freely to the toilet.

Of course, the food in these facilities is also top, with a wide range of freshly prepared healthy meals on a balanced menu. When it comes to visitors, people will be allowed to visit at any time, as long as you don’t need to be isolated for medical reasons.

You will most likely be assigned your own personal consultant who you will see over and over, ensuring that they can work with you over time to deal with a problem, so you don’t have to reexplain yourself over and over again. It also means you have more freedom in picking appointments to suit your schedule, rather than just be appointed anything that was available at the time.

With all those benefits with the facilities, the next thing you need to know is how to acquire yourself some private health insurance. Fortunately, there are a range of different providers out there that will have different policies for you depending on what you need. You can get a quote for your health insurance policy with Switch Health, who help you with comparing multiple providers to find you the best scheme available, helping to save you money.

Food And Nutrition In General

One of the most important things you need to do when it comes to looking after yourself, is by looking at what you’re eating. Whilst snacks such as chocolate and crisps are perfectly acceptable in moderation, it’s important to understand that too much snacking can actually disrupt your insides, leading to issues such as weight gain, insomnia, fatigue and longer lasting issues such as chronic pain or IBS.

These unhealthy snacks often times look small, but are packed with many damaging chemicals, as well as being small enough that you would eat multiple. Often times, a few bars of chocolate could potentially be higher in fats and calories than an actual meal.

That’s why you should stick to three meals a day where possible, to allow your body to get used to the times that it needs to eat. If you’re constantly snacking throughout the day, then that’s what your body will get used to. It’s all about moderation, so you don’t get carried away and get hungry throughout the day.

What your meals are filled with is also important to consider. Nutrition is crucial to a human’s wellbeing, so you should try to create a plan to stick to, so you know what you’re eating.

Ditching Fizzy Drinks For Water

On the topic of nutrition and food, you should also be thinking about what liquid you’re putting into your body. Whilst fizzy drinks can be a tasty snack, you should limit the amount you consume. That’s because they have sugary contents that are bad for your teeth, and chemicals that are bad for your body, that often leave you fatigued.

It’s also possible that you accidentally get addicted to these substances, which makes it even harder to quit the habit. What some people do, is switch to fizzy water at first, as this can fulfil their craving for pop, whilst limiting some of the chemicals. After some time has passed, you will be able to switch from that, to still water.

Water has a lot of benefits, from helping to carry crucial nutrients and oxygen to your body cells, to helping flush out bacteria from your bladder. It will also help your digestive system, with pumping the bad stuff out, and bringing in better chemicals. Your heart will also benefit, with your blood pressure improving, and helping to stabilise your heartbeat.

Online Services

Lastly, you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of support you can find online in terms of your health and wellbeing. That’s not to say you should Google everything that’s wrong with you and assume you the worst, as doom scrolling is always a bad idea. Instead, seek out expert advice from professionals about any issues you have, as they will be better suited to assist.

The Surprising Benefits of a Yoga Routine

As we begin to readjust to new routines following further easing of COVID restrictions, it is more important now than ever to take some time out of your busy schedule to focus on you. 

A daily yoga practice can bring together your mind and body, incorporating breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. 

Here, Marica Carleschi, european consumer marketing manager at INNOVO, and part-time yoga instructor, discusses the many benefits of yoga including how it can give you control over bladder leaks, improve your sex life and strenghten your core muscles. 

Reduce Stress

Yoga is known for its ability to relieve stress and encourage relaxation by combining many popular stress-reducing techniques, including exercise, breath control, the ability to clear the mind, and relax the body.

When we’re stressed we hold a lot of tension in the body, which makes us feel tight and can cause pain in certain areas. By stretching the body we release tension from problem areas, including the hips, lower back and shoulders. 

Relieve Anxiety 

Many people approach yoga for different reasons, but anxiety can often be a leading factor. Yoga gives us the tools to recognise the thoughts, feelings and actions that can cause heightened anxiety and enact effective self-soothing methods. 

Yoga helps us to learn how to regulate our stress response and build resilience to stress. The breath work we learn on the mat can be applied to any aspect of our lives, therefore in times of stress or heightened anxiety, taking deep meditative breaths can help us control our emotions and feel a sense of calm. 

Prevent Bladder Leaks 

A strong pelvic floor is essential for preventing bladder leaks. Situated in the pelvis, the pelvic floor is a key set of deep muscles that holds all of the pelvic organs (uterus, vagina, bowel & bladder) in place and supports the bladder to provide control when you urinate. Like any muscle group, these muscles need to be toned and strengthened in order for them to perform efficiently. 

Yoga is hugely beneficial for your pelvic floor muscles as a lot of exercises focus on strengthening and engaging your core. Different poses encourage you to lift and squeeze, strengthening those key muscles.  

Improve Your Orgasms 

Not only does a strong pelvic floor prevent bladder leaks, but it is possible that strong pelvic floor muscles could increase sensitivity during sex, giving you stronger orgasms. Yoga’s relaxing effects can also provide some sexual benefits as it teaches you to focus your attention on sensations and what feelings give you pleasure. 

Improve Quality of Life 

A regular exercise routine has an array of benefits including a boost in self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression and health problems. 

Yoga is the perfect exercise to help you unwind, boost your endorphins and put you first. 

Essential Yoga Poses to Kickstart Your Practice 

Not sure where to start with your practice? Try out these poses, perfect for beginners or full time yogis which will help you strengthen your core and target your pelvic floor. 

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) 

How Addiction Has Affected The Banking Industry

While addiction rarely has a single cause, stressful sectors certainly lean toward a heightened level of addiction. The banking and financial sector are notorious for being a high stress job and more than that, possessing a very sociable culture where alcohol and drugs are prevalent.

Back in the 70’s, cocaine and marijuana were hugely popular within the industry, whether that was day to day or when ‘entertaining clients’. In the 80’s and 90’s, the trend leant more toward Ecstasy and Ritalin. Fast forward to today and alcohol is front and centre. The question for many however, is quite simply, what causes such high levels of addiction and where are stress management policies and procedures?

The Causes Of Addiction In The Banking Industry

Addiction is usually caused through a culmination of things from physical and mental health to family history and of course, life experience. Evidence suggests that addiction is related to trauma and stress as well as the desire to solve a problem. Numerous addictions, such as alcohol and drug addiction within the banking industry are linked back to the high levels of stress however it’s worth noting, as we’ve previously mentioned that the banking industry has for many years had a culture that almost encourages the use of alcohol when ‘socialising’ with clients. 

Addiction itself develops when that particular person needs to use more and more of something in order to get the same good feelings and with so much ‘client entertaining’, it’s no surprise that alcohol intake rises over a period of time. Introduce recreational drugs into this setting and it’s clear to see how addiction has become a very real problem.

While it would be unfair to suggest that the banking industry as a whole has a far higher rate of addiction, it’s not unfair to suggest that the industry itself provides an environment in which it could become easy to fall into this position, especially those at a very high level where roles are high stress due to being performance and results driven.

What Effect Has This Had In Banking?

Due to the focus of higher roles being on results and performance, it’s not uncommon for those with substance abuse problems to be high functioning addicts. This however doesn’t eliminate the effect addiction has on this industry. In fact, there are numerous signs and symptoms that you may notice immediately around you…

  • Frequent absences from their desk or scheduled meetings
  • Memory problems
  • Attention problems
  • Tendency to blame others
  • Self care and hygiene issues
  • Changes in personality

Contact The Experts Today

While addiction may be prevalent within the banking industry, it doesn’t need to be an accepted part of the culture. In fact, many within the industry are now taking positive steps towards eliminating this culture by introducing policies that help those suffering with addiction, offering the support and guidance they need while also introducing the necessary training for both management and employees. Infinity Addiction Solutions are one such company that offers workplace training as well as substance abuse rehabilitation services throughout Essex and London. For more information on their services, contact them today on 0800 334 5541.

‘Healthy’ Foods That Are Not So Healthy

According to Dr Michael Mosley in a world full of food manufacturers, with clever marketing and a lack of science behind their claims, it can often become confusing to know exactly which foods are healthy when you’re navigating the supermarket. With huge signs at the end of each aisle, telling you exactly why the latest products will turn your health around, it’s easy to fall into their well set traps and spend a fortune on “healthy” foods that are not so healthy. 

In this piece he provides a run through of those ‘healthy’ foods that may actually cause more harm than good, so you know what to avoid next time you’re navigating the supermarket. 

Vegetable crisps/chips:  Yes, there may be real vegetables on their ingredients list however, those thin slices of veggies – that are far too small to provide any real nutritional value – are fried in sunflower oil to get the crunch you’re so familiar with. Not to mention, their sodium content, mixed with their carbohydrates and fat content, makes them so addictive that you’ll struggle to stop yourself going back for more. 

Vegetable crisps, in reality, are no healthier than a standard packet of potato crisps. If you are looking to satisfy your craving for crunch, there are ways to do so without jeopardising a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers/capsicum dipped into homemade guacamole or hummus. 
  • Nuts and seeds sprinkled over Greek yogurt with berries for a healthy breakfast.
  • Sauerkraut and kimchifermented foods bring huge benefits to your gut health and these specific ones are deliciously crunchy and crisp. Add to a salad or alongside your eggs in the morning.
  • Parmesan crisps – take a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese and drop onto parchment paper in circles. Pop them into a preheated oven for 3-5 minutes, at 200℃, until golden, take them out and let them cool. They go perfectly alongside Bolognese or atop a Caesar Salad – just be sure to count the calories on fasting days (you can read about intermittent fasting on thefast800.com).
  • Prosciutto crisps – preheat the oven to 180℃, line prosciutto on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until crunchy. Make sure to let them cool and then enjoy alongside salad. 

Low fat products:  Over the past few years, there has been an abundance of new evidence that recognises the health benefits of full fat products and from our understanding, the marketing strategy of low fat products is becoming exposed. A few reasons we should be avoiding ‘low fat’:

  • Low fat products are stripped of their nutrients and often laden with additives and sugar. This is to compensate for the flavour that gets removed in the process of making them fat free.
  • Products high in sugar and low in fat will spike your glucose levels and leave you craving more as there is nothing to prolong the energy release. 
  • Eating healthy fats, rich in mono and poly-unsaturates will not only satisfy your taste buds but curb your appetite too as they slow the rate in which the stomach empties, delaying its cue to signal for more food.

A study, carried out by researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, tracked the diets of 20,000 women over a period of 20 years. The study found links between the consumption of full fat dairy products (milk and cheese) and weight loss. Over a ten-year period, the women who regularly consumed full fat milk saw a lower BMI.

This was backed by another study that followed 1,600 healthy middle-aged men over an 11-year period. The ones that ate butter and drank full-fat milk were half as likely to become obese to those eating low-fat spreads and skimmed milk. It is likely that the reason behind this is that full fat products keep you energised and full throughout the day, meaning the desire for sugary top ups is curbed. 

Margarine:  While once placed on a pedestal for being a ‘healthy version’ of butter, with the potential to improve heart health, scientific evidence is now saying the opposite. In fact, there was never much scientific research behind these claims to begin with. Yes, margarine has less saturated fat than butter however, saturated fat is not necessarily a bad thing.  

In the past, it was believed to raise cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease. However, scientists from Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard have found that this view had been overstated and new studies have found no direct link between saturated fats and heart health. 

Margarine itself is processed and made from vegetable oil. As vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature, a process called hydrogenation takes place, which resultantly creates trans-fat. Trans fats should be avoided where possible as there is a plethora of scientific evidence linking increased intake of trans fat with inflammation, heart disease, stroke and poor cholesterol. 

Alternatively, butter is made from churning cream, a natural whole food. As a concentrated dairy product, we’re not advising you to lather butter onto every meal; however, a small amount every now and then will cause far less harm than processed margarine and spreads.

Flavoured Porridge:  Make it yourself from rolled oats and water, or whole milk, and you’ve got yourself a winning breakfast. However, if you’re finding yourself with the “just add water” sachets, you may as well be having three spoonfuls of sugar instead as some brands have an astonishing 16g of sugar per serving.

Breakfast cereals:  It can often be overwhelming with the amount of options when it comes to the cereal aisle in the supermarket. As a result, most opt for the boxes that look the healthiest however, even cereal boxes with a 4-star health rating in Australia, or mostly green boxes if you’re in the UK, can contain up to 23% sugar. Be cautious as even the ones with high fibre ingredients, like bran and oats, are still laden with sugar.

Granola falls into the same category; quite often considered to be a healthy option, shop bought granola is incredibly high in sugars, carbohydrates and calories. Not only this, the recommended serving size is considerably smaller than you may think with most brands recommending 40g, which is the equivalent of around 3 tablespoons. 

If you enjoy granola or cereal for breakfast, always check the ingredients and avoid any with dried fruits and chocolate chips. Or, better yet, make your own and top with Greek yogurt and fresh berries. 

There are recipes for heathy breakfasts including Muesli and Chocolate Protein Porridge, which have both been huge hits with members of The Fast 800 Online Programme www.thefast800.com

Vegan and gluten free processed foods: Just because the label says gluten free or vegan doesn’t mean they’re instantly healthy. On Dr Michael Mosley’s recent Channel 4 show, 21 Day Body Turnaround with Michael Mosley, he met a “junk food vegan” who was putting her life at risk by consuming unhealthy vegan foods, high in trans-fat, sugar and simple carbohydrates. 

By swapping out processed, ready to eat meals for fresh, healthy whole foods with protein through sources like tempeh and chickpeas, Michael’s vegan volunteer was able to improve her Vo2 max score – a measurement of a person’s individual aerobic capacity – by 10 per cent, in just 21 days. 

Commercial salad dressing: You may think that the salads you’re eating each day are helping you achieve better health, however, they may be the reason you’re struggling to make progress. Not only do commercial dressings have a significant amount of calories per serving (and not many of us actually stick to the recommended serving of one tablespoon), they’re also packed with additives, to extend their shelf life, thickeners, hidden sugars and other nasties that simply don’t belong in your cupboard!  Instead of highly processed dressings, try a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon or a glug of good quality balsamic vinegar (just definitely not the glaze!).

How to avoid “healthy” foods that are not so healthy

The best possible way to avoid these big brand claims and long standing rumours around ‘healthy’ foods is to cook fresh, whole foods each day that align to a Mediterranean-style diet. Or, if you are looking for convenience foods, find ones that are made up of only healthy and satiating ingredients, like The Fast 800 shakes.  If you do go for pre-packaged foods, always read the ingredients carefully and if you wouldn’t find the ingredients in your cupboard, or you’re not entirely sure what they are, it’s best to leave the item firmly on the shelf!

The Rising Problem of UK Back Pain: How to Stop Breaking our Backs with Bad Form

Back pain is sweeping the nation; Google searches for ‘back pain’ in 2021 have increased their search power by 157 per cent since 2011. But what is causing this back-breaking boom?

One primary cause of back pain is form. Form applies to activities that we complete every day, from taking the dog for a walk and powerlifting in the gym to how we sit in our office chairs and lie in bed. Poor form can affect how our muscles are stretched and how our bones are impacted. Here, we explore how your bad form is affecting your back pain and what you can do to recover from any spinal sores.

In the gym

So, you’ve joined the gym in hope of boosting your health. Great choice: exercise is one of the best ways to improve your back pain. When you exercise, the movement allows the disks in your spine to exchange fluids. These fluids direct nutrition to the spine and help reduce swelling that can cause tension and pain.

However, bad form in the gym can also be a leading cause of back pain. Anaerobic exercises with bad form can cause increased pressure and tension in your back. This is particularly true for impact exercises and weightlifting. Consider the weight you use during lifting exercise and consider where pressure is being applied. One common problem includes rounding. Rounding is caused when your hips are positioned at an awkward angle and can place stress on the ligaments around your spine.

Ensuring that your form and posture is good during exercise is essential for improving back pain. Speak to a fitness guru or trainer to understand how to improve your exercise techniques.

Bed habits

While we know that bad form during the day can contribute to back pain, have you ever considered how our night-time activities are adding to your problems? Yes, even when you go to bed, our sleeping routines and form can cause bad back pain. At a time when your body should be repairing, are you doing more damage to your body than you’re aware of?

Our sleeping routines can cause back pain through several factors, including sleeping positions and unsupportive mattresses. Poor sleeping positions put additional pressure on your spine, which causes its natural curve to flatten. This is likely to occur with people who sleep on their front, chest towards the mattress. Instead, it’s recommended that you sleep on your back or side.

An unsupportive mattress also causes uneven and additional pressure. This is because it can reinforce bad sleeping posture, strain muscles, and hinder spine alignment. Instead, consider using a memory foam spring mattress. These breathable and supportive mattresses help the spine and encourage good sleeping posture.

Working on it

In 2021, there are 261 working days of the year. Working for eight hours every day, we’ll spend a combined total of 2,088 hours in our offices or workspace. But is your work-life causing your back pain? Whether you spend long hours on your feet in retail or work from a desk in an office, bad form can be adding to your back pain.

Some jobs, such as delivery or warehouse jobs, may require you to lift heavy or awkward loads. Drivers may spend long hours in an uncomfortable car or van seat, and poor office chairs can cause bad posture.

Good form is essential for alleviating these problems. When lifting heavy objects at work, you should bend at your knees and not at your waist or back. Do this slowly and take regular breaks to alleviate built-up stress on your spine.

For those who sit down for the majority of their jobs, supportive chairs that follow the natural curve of your spine can help improve back pain. You can also ensure that monitors are placed at eye level, so your neck isn’t strained by looking up or down at a screen. You can also get supports for your office chair or car seat to help support your posture and form, improving the feeling of back pain.

Good posture and good form are crucial for alleviating back pain. From hitting the gym to hitting the hay, ensuring that your spine is supported is essential. There are so many factors that can contribute to tension and aches in the back, but the solution can be as simple as identifying the part of your lifestyle that may be contributing to the problem and changing your habits to alleviate the pain.

Beth Riley is a Content Manager at OTTY Sleep, covering topics surrounding sleep and the many factors that play a part in us getting the important deep rest needed to keep us rejuvenated and functioning at our best.

What are the Common Misconceptions About Birth Control?

Birth control is something that most people are aware of, but there is a lot of misinformation surrounding this commonly dispensed medication. Despite all of the benefits that are offered by birth control, and its readily available nature, many people still vilify this medication and claim that it causes issues for people’s health that it does not.

Learning more about how birth control actually works and what it can do for women’s health is an important part of becoming educated on the topic. If you are ready to learn more about the way in which birth control can benefit the lives and health of women all over the world, read on!

 

Common Misconceptions About Birth Control

 

1. It Will Make Me Gain Weight

Birth control pills can affect people in various ways. While some women do report that they have gained a little weight since they have started taking the pill, there has been no direct link made between weight gain and the pill in extensive studies. The cause of weight gain that is incorrectly attributed to the pill is likely just the result of women’s bodies changing naturally over time in totally normal ways.

 

2. Birth Control Pills Cause Cancer

This is one of the many myths that parents will often cite when they want to prevent their daughters from taking the pill. There is no link between birth control pills and cancer despite extensive study about the topic. There are a few unique kinds of birth control that could cause you to be predisposed to cancer, and these forms of birth control are labelled as such.

 

3. Birth Control Will Stop me From Having Kids Later

This is a very common myth surrounding birth control that has no basis in the face. You will be able to stop taking the pill and get pregnant almost right away in most cases. You have only to look at the statistics about the number of women who get pregnant while on birth control to be able to see that birth control does not limit your fertility. Human fertility is variable, and birth control is not usually the reason for a lack of fertility later in life.

 

4. Birth Control Causes Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

This is a myth that is likely caused by a misunderstanding about what causes PID. PID is not a result of birth control and is the result of contracting STIs during sexual activity. Making sure that you protect yourself with a condom when you are having sex can prevent PID, but birth control will not cause or prevent this condition.

 

5. The Birth Control Ring Falls Out

This is another common misconception about ring birth controls. These are easy-to-use birth controls that offer the chance to maintain your hormone levels without taking an oral medication. The ring will stay in place as long as it is not removed intentionally. You will not have issues with the ring staying in place as long as you do not pull on it hard and try to remove it.

 

6. IUDs Can Tear Your Uterus

IUDs are safe and have been studied extensively. There is a tiny risk that an IUD might cause you some form of harm if it becomes dislodged, but this is very, very rare. IUDs are some of the best and safest birth controls that you can select.

Birth control is a necessary and vital part of the process of allowing women to control their bodies and their overall health. Being allowed to support your hormone health and prevent pregnancy is a necessary part of women’s right to choose.

7 Tips for Seeking Medical Treatment After a Workplace Injury

Injury can happen anytime at work, and you have the right to seek medical treatment once it happens. It’s essential to be aware of the necessary steps on how to get the care you need. Asking for compensation isn’t as simple as walking up to your employer because they must cover your injury from the start. To get the maximum benefits, follow these tips:  

 

1. Reach Out To The Company HR

When you get injured, it’s essential to let the human resource department know about your injury and ask about the workers’ compensation insurance. They must also be notified about your condition for transparency and accountability. You must obtain the information before you head to your healthcare providers’ office because you’ll be giving the name to them.  

 

2. Know When You Should Seek Treatment

The right time to seek medical attention is always what you think of when you only have a minor injury. You could never know if it’ll have a lasting effect on your body, which is why you should seek a medical opinion. Head over to your medical care provider when symptoms are related to your responsibilities in the workplace.  

Seeking medical treatment from Injured Call Today and others will help you recover. You can also find various experienced specialists who have treated people who were injured at work in the past. If you decide to do it later, an underlying injury may progress without you knowing.  

Another reason is it’ll likely prevent your employer from claiming you didn’t get injured at work. It’s essential to have your injury looked at by a doctor so you’ll be aware of how bad it is.

 

3. Fill Out An Injury Report

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates employers to allow the injured employee to file an injury report. It’s the right of the employee to file a report when you want compensation for your workplace injuries. Even if your employer insists it’s not necessary, they’re obligated to keep employee histories on file. Just ensure you get a copy of the report as well.

There might be cases when the employer will deny your report or claim, so you must also follow the proper reporting procedure on injuries related to your workplace. Filing a claim is similar to filing an insurance claim. Ensure your employer offers you a form to fill out because they won’t be obligated to acknowledge your claim unless you can complete the form.  

 

4. Be Honest With Your Doctor

Seeking medical attention means you need to be completely honest with what you feel. Suppose you have an underlying condition, exaggerating or downplaying your injury won’t get you the treatment you need. If the insurance company finds out, it’ll jeopardize your claim, and you won’t get the right amount of compensation.

Making guesses about your condition is also a wrong move because you need accurate details to inform the insurance company. Hence, be honest with the symptoms as well as the aftereffects you’re feeling so you can be treated properly.

 

5. Choose A Reputable Physician 

In some cases, your employer will recommend a doctor for you to see after an injury. You have the choice to seek the preferred healthcare professional, but know you also have the right to choose the physician you want.  

If you’re a federal employee, the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) partially allows you to select your doctor. If you want to seek out a chiropractor, understand that FECA restricts seeing the specialist. State law applies to you if you’re not a federal employee.

You can also choose your preferred company as you seek medical attention. Your utmost right to refuse a company representative or even the company nurse to come along with you during your visit to the doctor is your right. The employer may want to protect their side, but they can’t retaliate against you for refusing their help.

 

6. Look For The Best Place To Have Treatment

If your injury requires immediate attention, head straight to the emergency room. Any injury you acquire from work must adhere to the state rules when you opt for treatment. Remember that the state still has a say as to whom you should see for your work-related injury. Some may even require you to follow your employer or insurer’s decision on who to see.  

In other cases, complex state rules may need you to seek medical help from the specific doctor you named before the accident. That means you need to have health insurance to name your preferred physician. In other states, you can only see the employer’s preferred doctor if the insurance company has that arrangement with your employer for the visit.  

 

7. Find Out The Truth

Suppose your employer is trying to stop you from going to the doctor or can’t even refer you to a preferred physician, chances are they don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers are required by the law to have this insurance, but there are reasons why your employer doesn’t carry it. Nevertheless, you need to find out if your employer can compensate you or not.  

Depending on the state you’re in, penalties can vary, and your employer could pay a hefty fine. Some states might not only demand an organization to pay an expensive penalty for not having this insurance type, but the company can also go to prison.

You can seek an experienced injury lawyer to help you get medical treatment and workers’ compensation if your employer doesn’t have the insurance. It’s the same when you’re loved one is the person who suffers from the injury.

 

Conclusion

As a taxpayer with a stable job, you have the right to seek medical treatment if you got injured at work. It can be a sudden slip or fall from an accident or a pain on your wrist that has been progressing when you’re overworked. It’d help you to be familiar with your state laws regarding workers’ compensation if you get into a work-related accident. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you seek your options after a workplace injury. 

3 Symptoms to Not Ignore in Regards to Prostate Cancer

Whenever you feel unwell or experience strange symptoms it is wise to seek medical advice. Many of us feel as though we are being a burden or that things will get better on their own, but that isn’t always the case. In order to look after ourselves in the best possible way, it is always advisable to get any unusual or uncomfortable symptoms checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

It is worth noting that prostate cancer is a disease where the symptoms don’t always show up most prominently – so if you do experience any discomfort or anything that doesn’t feel right then speak to your doctor. You are never a burden and places like the ALTA Clinic Germany can help with things like prostate cancer treatment, but only once you have been diagnosed and as such, going to your doctor is the first step you need to take to get on the road to recovery.

A Change in The Way You Wee

One of the things you may notice if you’re experiencing prostate issues is a change in the way that you wee. Of course, a change in the way you go to the toilet doesn’t mean that you do have prostate cancer but it is certainly an indication that you should seek advice from your doctor. It could be you need to wee more often or that it hurts to urinate.

 

Getting Up More During The Night

If you find you are waking up more during the night and often feel the need to go to the toilet during this time, then it is time to speak to a doctor. If this happens as a one-off then there isn’t any real cause for alarm however if it is something that starts to happen more frequently then it is time to seek advice and get checked out.

 

You Can’t Empty Your Bladder

If you feel like you need to go to the toilet but it is almost as though your bladder is never empty this could indicate an issue with your prostate too. This could be that you struggle to go to the toilet enough to feel as though your bladder is empty, or that once you have gone to the toilet it feels as though you need to go again really soon after.

Although a change in the way you urinate might seem like nothing more than a little inconvenient, it is most definitely something that you should pay attention to. There are different issues that can affect our toilet habits –for example, dark colour urine might mean that we are dehydrated and needing to wee more often could be an indication of diabetes.

It is worth noting that a change in your toilet habits doesn’t mean that there is definitely an issue and it certainly doesn’t mean that there is an issue with your prostate or that you have prostate cancer but it should be taken as a sign to see a doctor and get the once over by a medical professional.

How Journaling Can Improve Your Mental Health

Something as simple as journaling can help you get a new perspective on your life and reframe it in ways that improve your wellness activities.

Read on to learn how to start journaling and stick with it long-term. With the right tips, you can make journaling a habit as well as a hobby.

1.Write for yourself

After you sit down to write your first journal entry, remember to write for yourself by staying honest about what’s on your heart and mind. Make your journal an example of your inner monologue. If you can’t think of anything to write about, you can always log things like your latest achievements, new recipes you tried or your plans for the future.

2. Schedule journaling time

Time is usually the most common problem people face when they’re starting to journal. It’s not something you’re used to doing, so you may forget about it while you’re busy with other responsibilities during the day. Schedule at least ten minutes to journal in the morning, on your lunch break or even on some days during the week so that it becomes a habit over time.

3. Find your writing style

If you start journaling and it does not feel right, you might need to find your writing style to create a journal that fits your needs or personality. You may write a stream of consciousness, record your prayers or log what you’re grateful for. There are many ways to journal, so try something new if you feel stuck.

4. Journal for mindfulness

When times are uncertain, ground yourself and improve your mental health with journaling mindfulness entries. This writing will focus on how your body feels in the moment and where your thoughts go. As you write, you’ll lock into your struggles or successes, slowly improving your mental health because you’ll learn when it’s faltering and possibly relying on old bad habits.

5. Reflect on your progress

The best benefit of journaling is the ability to reflect on your progress. At the end of every week, read through your past entries. Think about what was happening at that time. You will immediately remind yourself of specific thoughts and feelings you had so that you can learn from that experience. Otherwise, you may not remember details that encourage you to learn and make changes to better your wellness.

Don’t start with expectations

After you find a suitable journal that you can’t wait to write in, don’t start your journey with expectations. Give yourself room to try new things, reflect and grow from whatever you write about. You’ll learn how to enjoy every moment once you sit down and start writing.

5 Rituals to Help Improve Your Mental Health

Here are five daily rituals you can incorporate into even the busiest day to help improve your mental health:

1. Set goals — small ones!

By setting small goals, you give yourself something easier to achieve. Additionally, when you do reach these goals, it gives you a great boost of self-esteem and confidence, which can do wonders for your mental health.

2. Be accountable

Accountability does not have to be complicated. Tell a few friends that you need a buddy to keep you honest when it comes to your habits. You might even want to consider group therapy with individuals who can relate and motivate. Find someone who will check in with you on a regular basis — and, if necessary, someone who will light a fire under your rear end to get you going.

3. Keep a routine

One day you might jump out of bed and be ready to meet the day, while the next you hit your alarm, roll over and sleep until 3 p.m. For some people, it helps to have a routine that makes them happy. Whether it be washing their face, applying a nice lotion or even stretching before getting ready for the day.

Setting up the structure of a routine can be very helpful for your mental health. It can help you slow down on those days when you have a ton of extra energy, and help you pull yourself out of bed on those days when it’s harder. Set a routine for your mornings and another one for your evenings, so you’re getting enough sleep as well.

4. Practice gratitude

You probably say thank you to the barista who makes your coffee in the morning, but when was the last time you sat down and truly practised gratitude? Being thankful for everything in your life — the good things and the bad — is a concept that might seem like common sense, but it’s a little harder to understand than you might think.

Try picking up a notebook and start a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes at the beginning or end of your day writing down the things in your life you’re grateful for. On days when you’re having a hard time or feeling discouraged, go back and read what you’ve written. You might be surprised at the things you find there.

5. Face your fears

Facing your fears stops them from negatively affecting your life. Just like achieving your goals, facing your fears gives you that sense of “I did it. I can win.”

Improving your mental health does not necessarily mean taking drastic measures. Every step you take toward improving it, whether that step is big or small, is a step that should make you proud!

An Ultimate Guide to Oral Health and How to Improve It

When we think about living a healthy lifestyle and looking after ourselves, we can often overlook the importance of oral health.

You may be surprised to know that the health of your mouth, teeth and gums can have an impact on your whole body. Bacterial infections and dental abscess can spread into disease and effect other areas of your body, so it is vital that you know how to take care of your oral hygiene and find the right dentist for you.

Here is your ultimate guide on oral hygiene and what you can do to improve it.

The Importance of Oral Health

If you fail to practice good oral hygiene each day, then you are increasing your risk of developing serious diseases and conditions. When you put it into perspective a healthy mouth can be a great asset to have. Your teeth play vital importance in helping you chew and digest food. They also help you speak clearly and give you the ability to smile, Dr Soha Sharif Says. Have you ever heard the saying “a smile is the best outfit you can wear”? I’m sure you can agree that there is some truth in that and without a lovely healthy set of pearly whites you may not have the confidence to show your smile off.

Maintaining good oral hygiene can help you prevent the risk of tooth loss from diseases like gum disease and dental decay. It can also help you prevent bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis. If you suffer from halitosis, then this can often be treated so don’t feel too disheartened. Better health have released an informative article that can educate you on what halitosis is and how to treat it.

Conditions Linked to Oral Health

Two of the most apparent conditions related to oral health are tooth decay and gum disease. Both can have damaging impacts on your health, and both can result in severe bacterial infections. Tooth decay occurs when plaque on your tooth turns sugar into acid. This can permanently damage the hard surface of your teeth and develop tiny holes and openings. Tooth decay can further lead to gum disease.

If you have gum disease, your gums will be red and swollen. They may bleed and cause you also to have bad breath. Brushing your teeth regularly is vital in helping to prevent it. This article from the Deparment Of Health highlights some of the ways you can help prevent gum disease.

Your oral health can also link to other various diseases and conditions that may come as a surprise to you.

Diabetes: This condition has been linked to oral health through high blood sugar. Diabetes can reduce blood supply to areas like your gums and bones, which hold your teeth together, which can link to infections and issues like cavities.

Pneumonia: Poor oral health and hygiene has been known to cause pneumonia. If bacteria grow in your oral cavity, this can spread into the lungs and cause respiratory diseases like pneumonia.

Endocarditis: Neglecting your oral health can also have a damaging effect on your heart. Bacteria that grow in your oral cavity can go into your bloodstream. Endocarditis is when the lining of the heart muscle and valves become inflamed.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Regular trips to the dentist are vital when it comes to maintaining your oral health and hygiene. Picking the right one can often feel daunting, but it is advised that you conduct your research to see which dentist will be right for you. Reading reviews online is always an excellent place to start and speaking to other people in your area as they may have a recommendation. You don’t have to feel tied to your local area to find a dentist as there may be a better one for you further afield.

For instance, if you’ve ever considered travelling abroad to look for a dentist, Brisbane has some incredible emergency dentists in Carindale who can help you on the journey to better oral care. It is always advised that you consult with an expert. Doing your research is excellent. However, a dentist will give you solid advice and trusted expertise to ensure that you are doing everything you can to avoid your risk of health issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

How To Protect Your Oral Health

Visiting the dentist is just a tiny snippet of actions you should take to help protect your oral health. It comes down to you taking the proper steps to ensure that you have adequate hygiene to keep your teeth and gums happy. Brushing your teeth twice a day is crucial, and it is recommended that you use fluoride toothpaste. This helpful article from Colgate helps explain why fluoride in toothpaste is important.  

Flossing can be a great way to prevent plaque build-up, whilst mouthwash can help remove any leftover food particles. The three products listed above can be easily found in your local store, and you don’t have to break the budget to find tooth cleaning supplies that will do the job.

It can be a force of habit to keep the same toothbrush for months on end, but you should actively try to replace your toothbrush every couple of months. Particularly if you notice that the bristles on the brush have been worn, as this can affect the quality of your brush and not clean your teeth and gums as thoroughly as needs are.

How Sugar Can Affect Your Teeth

Excess sugar in your diet can lead to issues such as tooth decay. Plaque that builds up on your teeth can use sugar and turn it into acid, as briefly mentioned. This acid attacks the enamel on your teeth. If you are a fan of carbonated drinks, then now might be the time to ditch the habit and swap it out for something less acidic. Limiting the number of sugary foods you eat, like sweets, can also help contribute to good oral health and hygiene.

When shopping for food, you should avoid any food or drinks items with added sugar. These tips from The House Of Wellness will help you identify the foods you should avoid contributing to a healthier smile.

So, there we have it—your quick guide to oral health and hygiene. Ultimately your oral health starts with you, and you need to ensure you are actively taking the proper steps to help maintain a healthy smile and happy teeth. Ensuring that you are brushing your teeth twice a day is an excellent place to start, and once you set yourself up on a good routine, it will begin to become more natural for you.

Also, if your child is afraid of the dentist, try a pediatric dentist. Also try your best to educate yourself about the fear and dental anxiety. Seeking expert advice can help set you off in the right direction concerning your oral health and hygiene, and as scary as you may think they are, they are there to help you. Work towards a smile that you are happy to show off and one that will have you feeling your best pleased and healthy self.  

Dating After COVID: Why Social Anxiety Is Surging

The lifting of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions can only mean one thing, right? A summer of love. Scientists have even predicted a social phenomenon similar to the roaring 20s, where parties, socialising, and love are on the top of everyone’s list of priorities. For some people, however, jumping headfirst into the dating pool doesn’t sound quite so simple.

What’s holding people back?

After over a year of online dating, video calls, endless messaging, or, in some cases, a total dating hiatus, it stands to reason that many will be keen to meet new people in person again. However, after so long without dating, a lot of people feel pretty out of practice. During the pandemic, we’ve seen a stark increase in social anxiety coupled with rusty social skills. Between re-learning how to date and lingering nervousness about COVID-19, social anxiety is affecting many would-be daters.

“I gave up on online dating pretty early on in the pandemic,” says Ellen, 24. “The constant messaging with no real aim just felt tiring. So, I figured I’d wait until I could meet people in person again. Now I’ve got the chance though, I feel like I need to learn how to date all over again. I actually feel way more nervous [to go on a date] than I did before the pandemic. I’m definitely out of practice!”

Many people feel the same way, and this sentiment is reflected in search data gathered by diamond ring company Angelic Diamonds. Their Love Dilemmas data shows that Google searches featuring dating queries have surged over the course of the pandemic. For example, between April 2020 and March 2021, the term “What do you talk about on a first date?” increased by 600 per cent, “What questions to ask on the first date” increased by 75 per cent, and “Why is dating so hard?” increased by 57 per cent. Clearly, anxiety surrounding dating is on the rise, and this could put a serious spanner in the works for the predicted “summer of love”. This anxiety has even led to brand-new terms like “FOMU” (fear of meeting up) and “FODA” (fear of dating again).

Keeping dating slow and steady

From re-learning how to date to navigating COVID-related health concerns, it looks like it could be a while before our dating lives are back on track. However, experts are encouraging people to take their time. In conversation with Cosmopolitan, sex therapist Mia Sabar explained: “One of the biggest challenges we’ll face with dating as lockdown begins to ease will likely stem from re-entry anxiety. These emotions are completely normal, and there is no shame in feeling apprehensive about being around numerous people, or about meeting in person after months of communicating via a screen.”

In contrast to rushing back into dating in the spirit of the roaring 20s, some experts believe that we’re likely to see a continuation of ‘slow dating’. One study found that online daters were more likely to be looking for a deep emotional connection with a partner before a physical one. Judging by this, slow dating might be the perfect post-lockdown solution for many, especially those who are feeling anxious about jumping in at the deep end. For vulnerable people with health conditions or those who feel nervous about the lifting of restrictions, slow dating is a good option. Perhaps the end of COVID-19 restrictions won’t mean the end of pre-date video calls and a lot of messaging back and forth after all.

How to tackle dating anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about getting stuck back into the world of dating, there’s probably one big question on your lips: how can you tackle dating anxiety? If you’re feeling hesitant about dating, it’ll probably take you a while to feel completely comfortable again. So, take your time and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Taking it slow is more than okay. Remember, the person you’re talking to on a dating app is likely to feel the exact same way you do. Also, if they aren’t understanding of your anxiety, then they’re probably not the right person for you anyway. Communicate clearly with them before meeting up and don’t be afraid to be crystal clear about your boundaries. Some people might feel comfortable with physical intimacy, for example, whereas others might still feel hesitant about touching due to health concerns. Expressing your boundaries and respecting theirs is the only way to successfully navigate the post-pandemic dating world.

What’s more, just because you don’t have to stick to social distancing-style dates doesn’t mean you can’t choose to. There’s no reason to rush back to meeting up in busy bars if you don’t feel ready for that kind of social interaction. Plan dates outside, or even choose dates based around activities as an ice-breaker. That way, you won’t have to worry about awkward silences.

Getting back into dating might feel stressful, but remember, it’s also meant to be fun! Don’t rush yourself into anything. Take your time, and when you are truly ready to get back into dating, try to enjoy each moment without putting too much pressure on yourself.

How Do Runners Keep Cool in the Summer?

Running when it’s hot outside is a challenging but rewarding experience. It’s a great way to test your physical and mental limits, and nothing feels greater than a cold shower after a good, sweaty workout. 

With this in mind, a lot of people who are new to running don’t exactly know how to prep themselves for a run when temperatures reach the high 20’s fearing that they will run as hot as an engine. In this article, we’ll go over four ways runners keep themselves cool as the mercury expands.

It all starts with gear

What you wear when you’re running can be a gamechanger for your comfort and performance. And we’re not just talking about wearable tech here!  

A running hat protects your face from being scorched by the sun, while still allowing heat to escape from your head through the breathable, meshed fabric. If you have long hair, a hat with a ponytail hole allows you to keep your hair in order and allows your neck and shoulders to cool.

Running in cotton clothing is a bad idea, especially in the summer. Cotton absorbs moisture and takes a long time to dry. Over time, the friction generated between your skin and the sticky material causes chafing and blisters. You want to look for sweat-wicking fabrics such as polyester or nylon that pull moisture away from your body into the outer layer. This moisture that evaporates helps you cool your body!

Get your clothes wet

Have you seen athletes splash themselves with water during or after a rigorous event when they could be drinking it instead? This allows for evaporative cooling- the scenario similar to what we prescribed to sweat-wicking fabric. Besides cooling your body, just splashing yourself with cold water gives your body a bit of a jolt and increases alertness. Some runners go to the extent of wetting their clothes before a run to take advantage of this cooling effect.

Hydration, hydration, hydration

When you’re feeling hot, fatigue sets in quicker. However, staying hydrated allows for a slower heart rate and helps you lower your core temperature. Cold water has been shown to be more effective in cooling your body down, but either way it’s important you remain properly hydrated.

This will differ for everyone, but as a general rule of thumb, you should be drinking 17-20oz  of water two hours before a run, and 5-10oz at intervals of 15-20 minutes if you are running longer than 45 minutes. Be sure to drink at least 15 oz of water for every lb. lost post-run!

Staying hydrated during a run can be tricky, as no one wants to hold a water bottle. If you are very familiar with your route, you can place water bottles across various checkpoints, or run laps around your neighbourhood. Hydration vests/belts are handy tools to have in your arsenal as they have capacities going up to 400oz.

Choose shadier/grassy areas

When it’s really hot outside, avoid the asphalt. Asphalt absorbs almost all of the sunlight it is exposed to during the day and emits it as heat. This is the same for concrete to an extent. Temperatures in cities are always warmer than in surrounding rural areas because of this, and is referred to as a scenario called the heat island effect.  If you are stranded in the city, your best bet would be to look for parks and/or trails with a lot of greenery. 

If there are large bodies of water such as lakes and rivers nearby, I would highly recommend running along that vicinity Not only as these locations tend to be windier, but you can take the well-deserved, refreshing plunge after your workout!

15 Habits of Highly Successful Counselors

As an aspiring counselor, the chances are you do not just want to gain your qualifications and lead an average career. Instead, you are likely dreaming of being a counselor with an outstanding resume and a long list of positively impacted clients. After all, if your goal is to help people, you are likely to go above and beyond when doing so.  

That is understandably not a walk in the park, though, so to help you get there, here are fifteen habits of highly successful counselors that you should adopt.

 

1. They Pursue Further Education

Highly successful counselors do not stop their education once they have achieved their bachelor’s. No – once they have gained their first counseling role, they pursue further education, such as their master’s degree and their Ph.D.

Of course, to get to that point, you will need to hold a bachelor’s first. If you are interested in starting your journey toward becoming an outstanding counselor, consider pursuing an online human services degree. It will give you an excellent range of knowledge on social issues, human psychology, and other social sciences to help boost your career. After that, you can go on to pursue a master’s in counseling and then even your Ph.D. in psychology or something similar.

 

2. They Are Always Prepared

You would not expect a successful counselor to walk into a session without access to the correct patient records or any other equipment they may need. Every time they host a session, they walk through the door prepared not only for the client’s meeting but also for anything else that comes afterward. So, to follow in those footprints, start practicing always being prepared. If you are doing an online human services degree, for example, always have your study notes, laptop, and textbooks whenever you suspect a study session may happen.

3. They Put Their Patients First

You probably know this already, but when you are tired from a long week of counseling clients alongside endless meetings and tons of notes, it can be tricky to put the patient first. You must always do so, though. After all, it is not your client’s fault that their appointment happens to fall at 2 pm on Friday just before your last meeting! While at work, you should always think about your clients first, no matter how you are feeling. If this ever becomes a challenge, it is time to address your stress levels.

 

4. They Learn and Adjust

There is nothing wrong with being a genius in your craft and knowing it. In fact, that is what the goal is! While highly successful counselors admit that they know their stuff, though, they are also always open to learning and adjusting their methods. That is because they are clever enough to understand that the world of psychology is ever evolving, and new methods and discoveries may help their practice. If your counseling goals are high, you will need to get on board with lifelong learning.

 

5. They Are Never Late

A counselor who is late is a counselor who cannot be relied on. When you have vulnerable clients relying on your guidance and assistance, you do not have the benefit of being late. Of course, an off day happens to everyone, but there is no excuse for a late habit. If you struggle with tardiness, here are some things you should try: 

Checking the Morning Traffic

Blaming the traffic once is OK, but having it constantly affect your ability to show up on time is not. If the traffic often catches you out, be sure to check what the traffic is like before you set off.

Prepare the Night Before 

If you are not a morning person, so as much as you can the night before, such as laying out your clothes, packing your bag, and preparing breakfast.

Reduce Your Morning Routine

A morning routine does not have to go on for too long, especially if you struggle to get up early. Instead of spending twenty minutes in the shower, for example, cut it back to ten.

Get Enough Sleep 

It may seem obvious, but it is a crucial step to always being on time. It is hard to get out of bed when you have only had five hours of sleep!

 

6. They Set Boundaries

Before becoming a counselor, you will likely never think that setting boundaries is a necessity. After all, your work-life differs from your home life, and you will have personal issues to deal with. The problem is, though, the lines become a little blurrier when a client’s story is overly emotional or your bond with them on an almost friendship level. In these situations, it is crucial to set boundaries.

Remember – as a counselor, you are the one in the position of power, which means it is your responsibility to make the client feel welcomed and safe while ensuring they understand the doctor-patient relationship that stands. If a client ever crosses a line, you must know exactly how to handle the situation respectfully and professionally. While bonding with clients is OK – great, in fact – you must ensure that it does not extend beyond the office door.

 

7. They Take Excellent Notes

Excellent note-taking is something you learn during school and further education like an online human services degree. As a counselor, these skills will come in handy, as you will have to take many notes throughout the day. To succeed, make sure these are always eligible, clear, and concise.

 

8. They Keep Their Mind Open

The best counselors are not the ones who are set in their ways; they are those who are always open to expanding their minds and changing their perspectives if necessary. This is especially important for counselors, as you are meeting multiple different people each day from various walks of life, and you must stay open-minded to those who live differently from you.

 

9. They Look After Their Own Mental Health

While successful counselors spend their day looking after the mental health of their clients, they also spend a lot of their time looking after their own mental health. When faced with so many clients with many upsetting situations, it is understandable for it to impact your wellbeing. To ensure this does not build, you must be able to find ways to heal from this, such as pursuing hobbies, doing meditation, and taking plenty of breaks.

 

10. They Laugh at Themselves

Counselors make mistakes. You will make mistakes during your online human services degree, when you are studying counseling, in your first year on the job, and even during your last ever year as a counselor. While it is necessary to learn from your mistakes, it is essential to laugh at them, too. After all, there are already so many uncomfortable and upsetting situations you will have to deal with throughout your counseling journey that you do not need to add on more. By having a better sense of humor, you will have a much easier time dealing with challenging days.

 

11. They Commit to Extra Learning

The best counselors do not just pursue further degrees – they also enhance their learning away from classrooms, like online research and good-old learning from books. Once they have packed up their office for the day, they do not always switch off and go home; sometimes, they will hang back to do some psychology research or to work on a project. To be successful, the career requires a lot more hours than the ones spent counseling patients.

 

12. They Improve Their Environment

Counseling is all about connecting with the client and it becomes much easier to do so in a positive environment. After all, no client will feel at ease in a cold, dark room! So, if you want to be a successful counselor, you must know how to adapt the environment to suit a session. Some tips for that include:

Soft but Bright Lighting

You do not want harsh lights blinding your clients, but you also want them to be able to see. Make the environment feel comfortable by using soft, layered lighting. Try to bring in as much natural light as possible, too.

Comfortable Furniture 

Your client will not want to open up while sitting in a chair that makes their back hurt, so aim to provide comfortable furniture for all.

Art Pieces 

Paintings and other art pieces around a counselor’s office inspire conversation. Plus, it looks pretty and improves the overall feel of the room.

Cleanliness

Above all, make sure any room where you are seeing a patient is as clean as possible. Your goal is to make the client (and yourself) feel comfortable, and that will not happen if the tabletops are covered in dust and the trash can is overfilled.

Fortunately, if you have done an online human services degree, you will have an idea of just how important a positive environment is for a workplace. After all, you will have needed to create a home office that works for you.

 

13. They Research Social Issues

Great counselors are not just interested in the people in front of them; they are also passionate about current social issues. After all, to understand those that they are counseling, they must understand society as a whole. So, if you are planning on becoming an excellent counselor, make sure you take a genuine interest in communities and social issues. An online human services degree would help you with that.

 

14. They Build a Network

Brilliant counselors do not stumble into their roles by mistake. As well as working hard at their degrees, they also ensure they build a network of people while they climb the ladder. By doing this, they end up being recommended for more prestigious roles in the future.

Whether you are doing an online human services degree or working in your first counseling role, make sure you work on building a great network of people. You never know when it might come in handy!

 

15. They Stay Passionate About Helping Others

One of the most important traits of highly successful counselors is their ability to stay passionate about helping others, even after years in the field. It is not easy, especially if you are feeling stressed or having a tough couple of weeks, but it is crucial for maintaining the high standard that you see in great counselors.

 

Are You Right for Counselling?

Before adopting these habits and starting your counseling journey, you should know for sure whether the career is right for you. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

 

Are You Prepared to Learn?

Counselors are constant learners. It does not end when you have earned an online human services degree or even when you complete your doctorate – there are always new methods to learn about and new developments in the world of psychology that you must know. If you are the kind of person who looks forward to a life-long career full of education, then counseling might just be right for you.

 

Do You Have Emotional Control?

Emotional control is crucial for counselors. After all, you cannot lose your cool when in the middle of a meeting with a client! Luckily, there are always ways to improve this.

 

Are You Interested in Human Psychology?

At its root, counseling is all about human psychology, so you better make sure that is a subject that you are interested in before pursuing it as a career. If it is, consider doing an online human services degree before going on to do your master’s and entering the world of counseling.

 

Do You Want to Help People?

The most important question you must ask yourself is whether or not you genuinely want to help people. If the sole reason you want to enter a psychology career is that you are planning on climbing the ranks and earning lots of money, then it is most likely not the career for you. If you truly want to help improve people’s lives, however, then you are the kind of person who would shine as a counselor. After all, it is the passion that pushes hard work and determination, which is exactly what is required in a counseling career.

Physical Therapy: Benefits You Didn’t Know

In advance, we know that Physical Therapy is the science and art that, through a set of millenary techniques, with the application of various instruments and especially the hands, prevent, heal, adapt and recover patients with somatic or psychosomatic disorders or anyone who wants to maintain their health at adequate levels.

On the other hand, the physiotherapist is the professional who applies the aforementioned methods and techniques.

Most common techniques of physical therapy

We can cite two main techniques from which many others follow.

Manual therapy: The hands are the main tool of a physical therapist and, among these techniques, we can find:

  • Kinesitherapy
  • Stretching
  • Mesotherapy
  • Posture reeducation
  • Orthopedic Physiotherapy

Techniques with physical elements: A wide variety of tools are used in the treatments, for example:

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Thermotherapy and cryotherapy

 

Benefits you didn’t about physiotherapy

However, and to the surprise of many, physiotherapy also has some other lesser-known fields of application:

 

Neurological physiotherapy

This specialty helps patients with some alterations in the nervous system and cannot carry out daily activities. Spinal and degenerative diseases tend to be very harsh during adulthood and neurological physiotherapy stands out for treating brain damage.

In this type of patient, the functional loss is produced by an alteration in the motor and cognitive systems. Physical therapy improves movement coordination, posture control, and brain plasticity.

 

Physiotherapy during pregnancy

Without a doubt, physical therapy is essential to help pregnant women. The body of women changes a lot during this period and they could feel pain in the hips and back, adding the weight of a baby in its last month within the mother.

Physical exercises help to decontract, the appropriate back stretches will alleviate or prevent injuries.

To reduce postpartum problems, the physiotherapist will accompany the woman from before she becomes pregnant until after delivery, facilitating muscle dilation.

 

Pelvic floor physiotherapy

It is closely related to important functions of our body, especially with posture, sexual relations, and fecal and urinary incontinence.

Its objective is to treat alterations in the anatomical area of the perineum. These can derive from menopause or postpartum (in women), and prostate surgery in men.

 

Physiotherapy for the digestive system

For the digestive system to function properly, the organs that compose it such as the pancreas, intestines, and stomach have to be coordinated to achieve good digestion and provide nutrients to the body.

Digestive physiotherapy treats various problems with manual therapy, abdominal massages, and osteopathic techniques to relieve, for example, constipation, gas, reflux, or colic, in newborn children as in other types of patients.

 

Physioesthetics or dermatological physiotherapy

It is generally used to treat or restore some skin conditions such as acne, wrinkles, cellulite, stretch marks, and scars, being – sometimes – complementary to the treatments of dermatologists.

Our skin – due to its continuous exposure – has the possibility of suffering wounds, cuts, burns, or a special sensitivity. In these cases, the physiotherapist will recommend the best treatments to take care of the skin and avoid sequelae.

 

Respiratory physiotherapy

Also known as respiratory therapy or pulmonary physiotherapy, it is responsible for treating conditions of the respiratory system – most of the time – being complementary to other medical treatments.

In children, in general, physical therapy is used to treat respiratory tract infections, infections, colds, or bronchitis. If the child or an older patient suffers from asthma, for example, it can help control breathing, reduce coughing, improve sleep and eating.

 

To consider…

We must not underestimate an injury, no matter how minimal, since precisely the least thought can become a martyrdom and turn into a chronic injury.

If you’re looking for physical therapy in Warren, be sure to consult with professional physiotherapists at Miracle Physical Therapy and Massage Center Inc. They will help you with any type of injury, trauma, or motor impairment.

How To Provide Mental Health Care For The Bereaved

It’s often hard to offer comfort to the bereaved—whether it’s a relative, a colleague, or a friend. The loss of a loved one undoubtedly causes immense pain, and it’s a life-altering experience. In most cases, words may not be enough to console a grieving person. And not saying anything can make the bereaved feel isolated.

Coping mechanisms with grief differ from one person to another. Some may recover faster while some take time to process how they’re feeling. Nonetheless, you can always do something to help.  

 

What You Can Do Immediately

Find out how to comfort a grieving person appropriately by knowing the right words to say and offering the right kind of support. You can do the following things as soon as you’re informed of the loss:

∙ Contacting the family to extend your condolences

∙ Sending out flowers for sympathy occasions with a written note 

∙ Visiting the family as soon as possible

∙ Attending the wake and the funeral or memorial service

 

Supporting The Mental Health Of The Bereaved

Losing a loved one impacts an individual in different ways, and the focus should be directed to mental health care since it’s the most critical element for coping and recovery. These actions will certainly be appreciated by the bereaved: 

 

1. Understand The Grieving Process

One of the best types of support you can give is to understand the aspects of grieving. Knowing that each experience may be unique helps you get rid of unrealistic expectations about grieving, which may add undue pressure to a bereaved person.  

These principles can help you understand the process better:  

∙ Grieving is not a linear process

There’s no one way to grieve, and the bereaved could experience ups and downs. Some may feel better after crying non-stop for a day or two and have these bouts again in the coming months. Others may need to cry for weeks on end before the recovery stage.

∙ You can’t impose a deadline for grieving

As mentioned, grieving impacts an individual in different ways. Some need months while some people take years to move on from grieving to acceptance.    

 

2. Know The Right Approaches

It’s often difficult to know what to say to a grieving person. In this case, it may be best to speak less and listen more. Here’s a rundown of the things you can do to help improve the mental well-being of a bereaved person:

∙ Ask how the person is feeling. 

∙ Never assume you know how a bereaved person feels.

∙ Don’t avoid the topic of death or the deceased individual. 

∙ Acknowledge the loss. 

∙ Be there to listen compassionately. 

 

3. Listen With Compassion

One of the best types of support you can offer to a grieving person is to listen without judgment. Never stop them from expressing outbursts, guilt, and other displays of intense emotions. Take heed of these tips to offer mental health support:  

∙ Concentrate your efforts on listening to the person

∙ Don’t make it all about you

∙ Never compare their grief to yours

∙ Don’t tell them how they should feel and why


Sometimes, well-meaning words can hurt a bereaved person. Saying things like, ‘You’ll get over it soon,’ may sound encouraging to the one who’s saying it, but a grieving person may interpret it as a form of trivializing a major life event.   

4. Offer Assistance

Grieving persons often find it hard to seek help. They may be feeling depressed or don’t want to be a burden to others. So, don’t hesitate to proactively offer assistance such as helping with the post-funeral or burial activities, running errands, driving them to the shop, looking after the children, the house and the pets, and so on.

In some cases, you can take them out for a date or an out-of-town trip to have fun. At home, you can do things together to make the person feel less isolated. With these, you’ll have reasons to visit the person and see how they’re doing. Even if your friend looks good on the outside, it doesn’t mean they’re not suffering on the inside.  

 

5. Watch For Signs Of Depression 

You can’t ascertain when a person gets through with the grieving process. But one thing’s for sure—if you see your loved one struggling to go through the process, it’s all the more important to offer consistent support.

A grieving person is expected to go through a roller-coaster of emotions. There are times they’d become irritable, want to be left by themselves, or become overwhelmed with emotions. If these feelings don’t disappear or get worse over time, encourage the person to talk to a therapist. 


Bottom Line

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being—and these are typically the first to suffer during the grieving process. With unwavering support from friends, family members, and colleagues, most eventually learn how to cope with the loss and move on with their lives.

You can support a loved one, a friend, or a colleague by understanding the process, offering your support, and helping the person seek professional help. The tips discussed in this article can help you show care and comfort to a person who’s suffering from a loss.   

9 Types of Orthotic Devices and Their Best Uses

Orthotic devices, also known as orthoses, are the braces or devices that help support the weakened muscles while walking. They also help slow the progress of the tightened tendons or muscles that become shorter in the long run. Plus, these devices can also enhance comfort.

Orthotic devices are worn at any time of the night or day. However, the use of a certain orthotic device depends on the type of muscles and muscular dystrophy affected. Also, with today’s advancements in Orthoses technology, there are several types of orthotic devices you should know and these include the following:

 

1. Foot Orthoses (FOs)

Also referred to as arch supports, foot orthoses come in various sizes and shapes and can be helpful in treating posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and ligament laxity.

Depending on your diagnosis and its level of severity, an orthotist will use FOs which is either prefabricated foot orthosis or a custom-made one. There are several materials used to create FOs and these include ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), pelite, and plastic.

Clubfoot bars and boots are under the category of FOs, but they’re not considered regular FOs. Such boots are made from silicone, leather, and plastic with a bar of metal.

 

2. Elbow Wrist Hand Finger Orthoses (EWHFOs)

These orthotic devices serve to assist arm movement in serious conditions including cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal injury, brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. As its name suggests, aside from supporting elbow movement, this device may go over the whole forearm, fingers, and hand.

 

3. Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (KAFOs)

These are quite similar to ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs), but they also cover the knee joints. Often, KAFOs are used to help prevent an excessive joint motion to reduce joint pain and help with joint stability and alignment.

KAFOs are usually customized for every individual and are made of plastic or metal. New varieties of KAFOs are lightweight and made of carbon fiber while still providing the support required to complete the gait cycle.

Another thing to know about KAFOs is that they’re strenuous and it’s essential to give patients some time to adjust to an indoor environment. While using a KAFO, the knee’s movement is restricted, and walking may require a lot of energy. Luckily, electromagnetic or electronic controlled knee joints can be used in a KAFO to ease movement.

 

4. Knee Orthoses (KOs)

As its name implies, a knee orthosis is only used for knees. Usually, KOs are used after a surgery or operation to relieve and protect the knee joint. They’re also useful to ease knee pain.

Patients who suffer from meniscus injuries, cruciate ligament injuries, and capsular ligaments injuries are recommended to use a KO.

 

5. Wrist Hand Orthosis (WHO)

These are used for limitation or mobilization of the wrist’s motion. Even if the wrist is encompassed with this orthotic device, fingers can be used and moved.

There’s a variety of conditions that require the use of WHOs. But they’re commonly worn when a patient is recovering from a wrist injury.

 

6. Hip Knee Ankle Foot Orthoses (HKAFOs)

Such orthoses are quite the same with a KAFO except HKAFOs extend to the patient’s pelvis and over the hip joint. Depending on the patient’s condition, the hip joints can be locked, partially locked, or free. The ankle and knee joints can also be locked completely or partially or free. This may depend on the range of motion, weaknesses, or diagnosis of the patients.

 

7. Head Orthoses

Also called cranial orthoses, head orthoses are typically used for effective treatments of various conditions in newborn children. Such conditions include plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly.

In case a child patient requires additional head protection, particularly after an injury, head orthoses are highly recommended. It’ll keep the patients secure and ensure that they’ll heal safely.

 

8. Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFOs)

These orthotic devices cover the foot, leg, and ankle. Typically, AFOs are custom-made depending on the patient’s requirements. AFOs also help reduce pain and increase mobility while walking.

AFOs are made by taking the cast of the patient’s leg. The process of creating an AFO from the cast may take several weeks. After that, patients will have a fitting appointment in which the device is tested for function and comfort.

While fitting AFOs, it’s recommended that patients wear clothing that can be rolled up or expose to the lower leg. Using knee-high socks that are wrinkle-free and fit well is also advised to lessen rubbing. Commonly used sneakers or shoes must also be taken to the appointment to adjust the orthotic devices to ensure user satisfaction.

 

9. Spine Orthoses

Spine orthoses are another type of orthotic device, which is used for a variety of spine conditions. Such devices are used in different scenarios, which may include scoliosis, surgical recovery, and disc herniation.

For instance, when it comes to scoliosis, there are several available spine orthoses to choose from. The same applies to some conditions in which a Harris or Jewett brace can be effective. Regardless of the case, this kind of orthotic device is a good way to lessen pressure and alleviate pain in your spine.

 

Conclusion

With the different types of orthotic devices available, there are various things to consider when you’re searching for the best one suited for you. The best guidance you’ll find is your doctor’s recommendation. So, if you prefer other options, make sure to consult your doctor first before you consider any type of orthotic device.

Tax Tips for Healthcare Professionals in 2022

According to a 2020 report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12 out of 20 of the world’s fastest-growing occupations are in the healthcare industry.

If you are a professional working in healthcare or are studying in a medical field and aiming to apply for a healthcare position soon, there are a few tax tips and breaks you should know about.

These breaks will allow you to save on your tax bills and preserve your savings when the end of the 2022 tax year rolls around.

Tax Tips and Breaks for Professionals in the Healthcare Industry

Initial Tertiary Education

Securing a position in healthcare requires many years of tertiary education. Luckily, there are many tax exemptions available to students in healthcare fields.

In the United States, students may qualify for American Opportunity Credits (AOCs), which offer credits of up to $2,500 per year per student during the first four years of their degree programs.

US students can also take advantage of the Lifetime Learning Credit. This credit offers 20% of their tuition fees back up to a threshold of $2,000.

Work-Related Expenses

Clothing and Uniforms

Healthcare professionals in most countries can deduct work-related expenses from their tax bills. In your field, you could potentially deduct the costs of your uniforms and the cleaning costs thereof from your personal tax return. This is, however, only allowed if you wear your uniform exclusively for work and not for leisure as well.

Your work outfit needs to be specific to the work you do as a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, radiologist, and so on. For example, you can write off the costs of your lab coat, scrubs, and medical shoes when doing your taxes, but you cannot write off your wool coat, casual boots, or your Levi jeans.

You can claim back the expenses of having your professional uniform altered and cleaned. Report your laundry, dry cleaning expenses, and the costs of any alterations done to your uniform at the end of the tax year to save even more on your bill.

Medical Supplies

Basic medical supplies are usually exempt from tax. Any items such as medical equipment, protective gear, sanitizing supplies, swabs, gauze, cleaning detergents, and surgery equipment must get discounted from your tax bill. You will, however, need to declare these supplies.

Operational Licenses

The law requires most healthcare professionals to be licensed and to carry a valid license at all times. The good news is that you can write off the fees associated with obtaining and reapplying for your license as a tax exemption.

You can also write off the fees for your local business or practice operational license if you require one.

Home Office Tools

Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, many healthcare workers have started working and consulting virtually from home. If you are working remotely because of the pandemic, you could apply for tax breaks for the costs of operating your home office.

Expenses like office phone lines, answering services, business mobile phones, and even internet connectivity can all be deducted—as long as they are being used for professional and not personal purposes concurrently.

Supplies and Everyday Expenses

Most doctors, nurses, and practitioners will already know that their everyday work equipment is exempt from tax. However, in many cases, these professionals can claim back the expenses of other unassuming items they may need for work purposes.

You may be able to claim back the costs of your work stationery, office supplies, business cards, and briefcase. Plus, your computer, printer, medical bag, and even business meals are potentially tax-deductible expenses too.

Professional Fees

Many healthcare professionals pay significant fees to be part of industry-specific associations and groups. If you pay any alumni fees, medical association costs, professional association dues, or even union fees, these should all be exempt from tax.

Travel and Vehicle Use

Medical professionals’ work-related travel expenses might be tax-deductible. Costs like car rental, parking and toll fees, driven business miles, and airfare fall under this bracket. As do taxi and bus fees, travel lodging, and even meals during work-related travel.

If you use your personal vehicle for work, you could possibly claim back the costs of fuel, maintenance, repairs, and even car insurance.

Depreciation in Real Estate

Healthcare professionals who own real estate besides their primary residences should be aware that cost segregation allows for a rapid depreciation on those retail or rental properties, from 39 years to as few as five years. This acceleration of depreciation can offer notable tax savings for both passive and active incomes.

Home Improvement

If you operate your practice from home, specific improvements made to your residence may also count as deductions.

Medical-related changes, such as the installation of wheelchair ramps, widening doorways, and modifying bathrooms and practice rooms, could be exempt from tax, provided that the costs are not unreasonable.

Miscellaneous

As always, charitable donations are exempt from tax for healthcare professionals and workers in any other industry.

Additional Tax Exemptions for Healthcare Professionals

Depending on your local tax laws, you may deduct expenses such as:

  • Subscriptions to medical journals, periodicals, and industry-specific magazines that you require to stay up to date with the latest innovations and developments in your field
  • Professional liability insurance and malpractice insurance costs
  • Job seeking costs, including the expense of hiring a professional to edit and send out your resume to prospective employers
  • Services performed pro bono for non-profit organizations
  • The costs of highly specialized tools and equipment, including safety equipment, specialized medical devices, voice recognition software, and hand-held recording devices, among others.

There are also several programs that offer tax incentives. Healthcare professionals can take advantage of these programs and reduce their tax bills considerably.

Take Advantage of Every Tax Break

Healthcare professionals can save on their tax bills by claiming back the expenses of everything from their medical uniforms and equipment to their professional liability insurance costs.

Be sure to check the specific tax laws in your region and take advantage of the many deductions available to healthcare practitioners in your sector or field.

11 Ways To Improve Patient Safety In Hospital Rooms

A patient is the client of any medical facility. Patients’ safety is a priority in medical practice and translates into the patient experience. If you’re a worker in the medical industry, it’s good to bring into the picture your patients when it comes to safety and help them understand how they can be part of patient safety protocols and support such initiatives.

It’s estimated that about 444, 000 people die as a result of avoidable hospital errors. However, if care providers, consumers, and support staff unite their efforts, patient safety can be improved further. In situations wherein the patient is unable to take part in the safety initiatives because of their critical health status, their safety lies precisely in the services of the medical professional.  

This article explores 11 strategies that you can use in a medical facility to boost the safety of your patients within the rooms:

 

1. Employ Particle Counting Measures

Particle counting is a safety measure that hospitals use to control indoor spaces, especially in theatres. Controlling, monitoring, and verifying is critical not just to pass the strict inspections, but to keep the safety and health of your patients and staff. Understanding particle counting is a requirement for every medical practitioner. It uses a particle counter that works on the principle of light blocking or light scattering. Aerosol beams are drawn through a chamber having a light source, which is either white light or laser-based light. The moment a particle gets illuminated by the beams of light, it gets absorbed or redirected.  

 

2. Reduce Hospital Readmissions

There are several tactics that you can use to lower the rates of hospital readmission. This may include providing enough nursing staff for in-patient care, giving clear discharge instructions, making the transition of care better, taking part in readmission-prevention collaborations, targeted treatment of at-risk populations, and taking part in incentive programs with payers.

 

3. Confirm Every Medical Procedure

Many mistakes happen in medical facilities that put to risk the lives of patients. For example, a patient may be scheduled to have an operation for their right kidney, only to end up having their left kidney operated on. Then, the situation of the patient worsens, only to realize later on that a wrong operation procedure was done. This has a double negative impact on the patient. They lose their money, and, also, their health may have come to an irreparable state. Also, a patient may have the wrong tooth extracted, which is usually a big error.  

Before a surgical procedure is done, a member of the surgical team needs to call the rest of the team to order and go through the details of the surgery. Verification should be done in other aspects, such as medicine dosage, timing, and confirming that a medical officer thoroughly followed handwashing procedures.  

 

4. Lower Adverse Drug Events

To avoid adverse drug events, you need to carefully do medication reconciliation. You may consider having a computerized provider order entry. Moreover, make use of double checks, Tall Man letters, standard order sets, and leading zeros. Ensure that you avoid trailing zeros and “Do Not Use’ abbreviations.  

 

5. Re-Engineer Hospital Discharges

Well-structured hospital discharges have the potential to bring down readmissions. You may need to appoint an employee who should work closely with your patients and staff so that they can reconcile medications and undertake appropriate follow-up medical appointments. Your medical facility should adopt a simple-to-understand discharge protocol for all your patients, have a follow-up medication schedule for upcoming medical appointments, and tell your patients how they can contact the facility when a problem emerges.  

 

6. Educate Patients On Safe Use Of Blood Thinners

When patients have undergone surgery in your hospital and have been discharged, they’re prescribed a blood thinner, such as the warfarin brand that helps them prevent having blood clots. If the prescriptions aren’t used the right way, it may result in persistent bleeding, which endangers the life of the patient. Your facility can have educative videos of about 10 minutes and give a booklet containing relevant instructions that the patient can refer back to when using these medicines.  

 

7. Partner With Patient Safety Organizations

Patient safety organizations (PSOs) offer confidentiality and privileges that establish the right environment, which helps come up with quality formats for collecting, analyzing, and aggregating data. Such measures boost the quality of services, as well as identify and reduce patient care-related hazards and risks.

 

8. Adopt Teamwork And Rapid Response Systems

Develop and cultivate a teamwork culture of your hospital staff. You can craft a tool for your hospital, or use customizable tools that give you a basic structure for advancing effective communication, coupled with many other teamwork skills to advance collaboration of staff from different units. Educate them on how to respond in case of an emergency. You may tailor your facility guidelines for the emergency department and ambulatory clinics.  

 

9. Adopt A Safety Compliance Plan

Put measures in place that enable you to evaluate and monitor how your workers are following the laid down policies. Your governing board should use this plan to adjust or put emphasis on the policies. Compliance guidelines can help your facility in the following ways:

∙ Offers a centralized point of compliance

∙ Boosts the trust of the community towards your organization

∙ Increases successful treatment results

∙ It’s the basis for the vendor and employee evaluation checklist

∙ Guards your organization from illegal activities

∙ Maintains the integrity of insurance claims

 

10. Have A Safe Hospital Design

Before good hospital designs were adopted, traditional designs were focusing on operations rather than the safety of patients. When you’re building a medical facility, you should have a patient-centred mentality of the structural design. This includes features such as air quality, noise dampening, critical data proximity, fixtures for contagion spread reduction, like hand sinks, and standardized feature locations.  

Modern technology allows your engineers to design a hospital that incorporates advanced technology, which reduces human error by the use of intelligent systems, with a keen emphasis on drug dispensaries.  

 

11. Curb Blood Infections In The Central Line

Be extra alert to prevent infections from occurring in the central line bloodstream. Religiously follow the following steps whenever you insert a central venous catheter: clean your hands, have full barrier precautions, wash the skin using chlorhexidine, keep away femoral lines, and remove all unnecessary lines. It’s advised that following these steps can lower these kinds of infections to nearly zero levels.  

 

Conclusion

Patient safety ought to be a priority in your hospital. This is a collective responsibility of your staff and the patients. Ensure that you incorporate measures, such as indoor particle counting, reduce the number of readmissions, have a compliance safety plan, and design your hospital in such a way that it has a clear safety design.

Dos And Don’ts After Wisdom Tooth Removal

We often come across people whose wisdom teeth did not erupt, or who had a lot of complications with them. So why is this happening?

A wisdom tooth that does not erupt is prevented from doing so due to a lack of space in the dental arch, improper position, or limited jaw growth. A tooth that has not erupted, and does not create interference, does not require special treatment; however, if you are not so lucky, the dentist will recommend doing a procedure to remove it. 

What worries most people about this procedure is recovery. Recovery is not comfortable, but it doesn’t have to be so painful and complicated. If you are due to have this procedure, read the tips for a successful recovery. Keep in mind that the oral surgeon will also give you instructions and advice based on your individual case.

 

Dos after wisdom tooth removal

Bite on a gauze and let it clot

Immediately after the procedure, the gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for an hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. If the bleeding repeats afterwards, bite on a gauze again for the same period of time. This will put pressure over the wound and allow the clot to be formed on the tooth extraction site, which covers it, stops the bleeding and allows it to heal. However, make sure you don’t chew on gauze pieces.

 

Rest, elevate your head

You may feel great but don’t exercise or do too much activity for at least 24 hours, as doing physical work can alleviate the blood pressure and that may result in losing the clot. When resting, elevate your head on a pillow. Placing your head above heart level will help reduce the amount of swelling you experience.

 

Put some ice packs on your face

Apply an ice pack on the face, on the side where you’ve had the extraction. Icing will reduce swelling and bruising. The swelling after an extraction may not occur immediately after an impacted wisdom tooth removal, but can continue to swell for a few days, reaching a maximum on the 2nd or 3rd day. Application of the ice pack is most effective during the day of extraction. Ice packs should be applied for 15 minutes every hour the first day.

 

Eat liquid and soft food

While you still have numbness it’s best not to eat solids. The best choice for the first 24 hours would be soft and liquid foods like soups, mashed potatoes, yogurts, milkshakes, smoothies etc.

 

After 24 hours, rinse with warm saline

Warm saline (saltwater) rinses help in cleaning and maintaining the hygiene of that area, as it’s not possible to brush the socket. We use saline because the solution is isotonic and similar to natural tissue fluid, which makes it less irritating than water. Be very gentle and don’t rinse your mouth too vigorously.

 

Take medicines as prescribed by your dentist

Don’t skip medicines. The dentist will probably prescribe antibiotics to prevent the inflammation so it is very important to take them regularly. Also, take your pain medication as prescribed. Don’t skip a dose, or it will be harder to soothe the pain later.

 

Don’ts after wisdom tooth removal

Don’t spit, use a straw, or suck on anything (candy etc.)

Avoiding these activities helps maintain the blood clot that forms over the wisdom teeth extraction site. Any type of suction in the mouth can cause the clot to become dislodged. If so, you may have more bleeding, more pain, and a potential side effect called dry sockets.

 

Don’t brush your teeth for the first 24 hours, and be gentle afterwards

Brush your teeth, beginning the second day after your procedure, but don’t brush the wisdom teeth extraction sites – not brushing prevents losing the clot, as it promotes the healing process.

 

Don’t drink alcohol or smoke for at least 72 hours

Don’t drink alcoholic, caffeinated or carbonated beverages. Also, using tobacco products after oral surgery can delay healing and increase the risk of complications, as the nicotine could affect the clot. This applies to cigarettes, as well as to chewing gum and other products containing nicotine. Smoking is the worst option because in addition to nicotine, the suction activity itself negatively affects the clot.

 

Avoid sneezing or coughing – if you have an allergy, talk to your doctor before the procedure about it

These activities could delay the healing, so make sure to mention possible allergies or other conditions to your doctor. He will prescribe appropriate therapy to prevent unwanted events.

 

Don’t eat foods that are hard, crunchy, and sticky

Avoid hard, crunchy, chewy, hot or spicy foods that might get stuck in the socket or irritate the wound. This will prevent dry sockets and help maintain hygiene.

 

Don’t drink hot beverages

Allow your tea to cool down, as having hot foods and beverages increases swelling, slows down the healing process, and may cause the clot to dislodge, causing a dry socket.

 

Conclusion

After removing the wisdom tooth, follow the instructions of the dentist and you do not have to fear complications and a long recovery. You may feel so good that you will even want to do a workout, but try to rest until the wound heals to avoid complications. After 3 – 7 days you will be able to return to school or work and slowly return to your daily routine.

 

Author bio:

Andrea Buksa graduated in Medicinal Chemistry from the Department of Biotechnology in the University of Rijeka, Croatia, where she gained knowledge of chemistry, biology, microbiology, physiology and other related fields. Apart from sciences, she has a vast knowledge of the medical industry, specifically medical business and marketing, with experience in writing about the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry, hygienic and medical equipment. Writing is actually one of her favourite tasks, because it connects her formal education and her passion for creating digital content with an educational and marketing purpose.

A Look at the Health & Safety Issues Involved in e-Scooter Trials

With e-scooter trials taking place across the UK and Ireland, a lot of people are now wondering how safe this method of transportation is and whether it will become more widespread in the future. A number of accidents have been reported to date, and there are concerns over whether they should be made legal or not.  

 

The Background to the Trials

It is hoped that e-scooters could provide an environmentally way for us to get around, while relieving some of the traffic congestion that blights our towns and cities. While riding a privately-owned e-scooter on a public road is still classed as illegal, you can hire one using the government scheme that involves unlocking an e-scooter using a mobile app.

Some UK cities began to roll out this scheme in 2020, while London joined it in June 2021. In Ireland, Dublin City University has been involved in the AI-led research pilot that started in April of this year, that will use 30 scooters to determine how these vehicles can be integrated into the plans for making Dublin a smart city.

 

What Are the Health and Safety Issues?

There have been concerns raised over the safety of e-scooters, particularly since a number of accidents involving them have been reported in various cities. There are strict controls in place to ensure that people only use rental scooters rather than their own vehicle, and that they use them in a responsible manner.

The vehicles that are covered under these trials have a power rating of 500w and they can’t go faster than an average of about 15.5 mph, although the maximum speed that is allowed varies by region. A full driving license is needed to ride one, while the use of a helmet is recommended. These trials will continue until May 2022.    

Current reports suggest that there have been more than 800 accidents since the trials began, with the majority seemingly involving scooters and pedestrians. In some cases, the rider was found to be responsible due to being distracted by mobile phones, being drunk, or some other issue. More than 120 people have already been banned from using e-scooters.

It should be remembered that any accident involving an e-scooter may result in a claim with personal injury solicitors for the damage caused to anyone involved in it. If the injured party is partly or fully to blame for the accident, their claim may be affected as they will be seen as having a degree of contributory negligence.

 

What Does the Future Hold for e-Scooters?

It seems possible that e-scooters provide us with a clean, reliable way to get around in the future. However, a lot currently depends upon the outcome of the trials that are being run, as transport experts look for the safest way to incorporate these vehicles into our lives.

The number of accidents may rise in line with an increased number of e-scooters being used in the future. Yet, there is also a chance that these incidents become less common as we begin to get used to handling them and to come across them as we walk or drive around.

Why Sleep Should Be A Priority

Most of us accept that good quality and enough sleep is essential to human survival and is vital to our mental and physical health. Sleep has a profound impact on our neurological performance and is essentially food for the brain. Given its importance, forward-thinking businesses should make sleep a top management priority, according to neuroscientist, business psychologist and change specialist Dr Lynda Shaw.

Why Sleep is Essential For Our Brain

Sleep is a complex process but simply put sleep-promoting cells within the hypothalamus and the brain stem produces a chemical called GABA which reduces senses of arousal in the brain stem and hypothalamus, sending us signals which make us feel tired. This is reinforced by increased production of the sleep hormone melatonin sent by the pineal gland.


Once asleep and as other parts of our bodies are resting, our brain spends time processing emotions, memories and replenishing our minds for the next day. The majority of this occurs during REM sleep, a phase that takes up about 20% of adult sleep. The cerebral cortex starts to process short and long-term memories with help from the thalamus which relays information from the senses such as images, sounds and other sensations. The amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, also increases in activity. The brain stem also plays a vital neurological role sending signals to our muscles so that they relax which is essential for body posture, energy renewal and limb movements.


It is also believed that during sleep the glymphatic system is opened and cerebral spinal fluid flushes out the day’s accumulation of toxins. In fact, deep sleep is a time for recovery and repair, supporting the immune system and growth hormones.

Putting Sleep On The Management Agenda Is Vital Because it Affects:

  1. Physical health and stamina – Sleep is involved in the body’s healing process. Ongoing sleep deficiency can prevent healing, affect your immune system and increase inflammatory issues in your body and making you feel drained and weak. Lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
  2. Mental health and mood – Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritable and exhausted in the short term, and suffering from burnout and anxiety, and has also been linked to depression in the long term.
  3. Memory and recall – Sleep has a profound influence over memory and recall and can increase the formation of false memories.
  4. Problem-solving ability – Good quality and quantity of sleep enhance creative problem solving, concentration and cognitive abilities.
  5. Make mistakes or poor decisions – Sleep-deprived people are twice as likely to make easily avoidable mistakes or forget important things or fail to engage with logical thinking compared to colleagues.
  6. Creativity – Disrupted or diminished levels of REM sleep can slow down brain function negatively impacting creativity because the brain struggles to generate and remember new ideas.
  7. Emotional intelligence – Sleep helps us be more emotionally intelligent by helping us manage our emotions and build empathy.
  8. Engagement, concentration and focus – People who are sleep deprived have diminished levels of alertness and concentration, difficulty paying attention, brain fog, are easily confused and their judgement can be impaired.
  9. Workplace happiness – When we are sleep deprived, our risk of stress and poor mood, and levels of stress and irritability all increase which is linked to our overall life satisfaction and workplace happiness and loyalty to our place of work.
  10. Safety – Fatigue is often blamed for a number of health and safety-related accidents at work as there is a clear, dangerous causal link between physical injury and sleep deprivation.

Solutions

  1. Don’t encourage over-working. Being overworked, stressed and constantly multitasking means we are continually in a flight, fight or freeze response resulting in the overstimulation of cortisol and adrenalin which in the long term leaves us exhausted and at risk of serious illness. An overworked employee will never be as productive as one that has a good work/life/ sleep balance.
  2. Open conversations – Invite open discussion about the impact of sleep deprivation so that employees feel comfortable coming to you if they have concerns. Employees going through menopause for example are often sleep-deprived due to hormonal changes but feel like it is a taboo subject. An open-door policy and longer-term planning and support are needed from the employer.
  3. Revise your supporting wellness programs – Recognise and identify how sleep deprivation impacts workplace performance. Ensure that messaging around improving sleep and rest is clear as part of the company intranet and protocols.
  4. Offer flexibility – Whilst asking them to agree to core hours, allow your employees the opportunity to start work a bit later if that suits their normal bio-rhythms better. Many experts argue that a later starting time is optimal as it allows employees to have a full night’s sleep and perhaps get some exercise and fresh air first thing in the morning.
  5. Taking a day off for exhaustion – Businesses need to stop penalising employees when they legitimately take days off because they are exhausted. These are not for employees who are burning the candle at both ends and simply want a day at home to recover, but those that are genuinely struggling. Someone facing a temporary over-stressful home or personal issue should be regarded in the same way as someone who needs a few days off because of a physical illness such as a virus.
  6. Ensure best practice –Show your support to someone who is feeling exhausted by lengthening deadlines, having good planning in place and practising patience. Employees will be more loyal, motivated and engaged as a result, which should be the goal of any business.
  7. Collaboration – Delegate tasks between employees and encourage collaboration. This will provide support to those who are struggling, whilst ensuring that all deadlines are still met.
  8. Identify with compassion – If you know that an employee is struggling at work due to sleep deprivation imagine yourself in their shoes. Find out from them what they need in the short term and see if it is something you can offer them. Whilst we all know sleep is important, many of us do not stop to recognise that it can affect just about every single part of our health and life, including work.

For more information please visit www.drlyndashaw.com.

5 Benefits Of Playground Equipment For Schools?

Every day schools across the nation are installing playground equipment that’s been chosen specifically for their students and their grounds. Is it any wonder either when there’s such a variety of equipment on offer? Playground equipment is now constructed using the most durable materials and what’s more, they’re constructed, ensuring they meet the highest safety standards. 

If your school premises is yet to invest in a playground, and needs a reason to do so, perhaps these 5 benefits of playground equipment within your school may convince you to take that all important step. Here’s a run down beginning with the encouragement of outdoor activity.

Encourage More Outdoor Activity

Children are choosing to spend their time in front of their tablets, the television or glued to their gaming devices and because of this, their activities levels are reducing and childhood obesity is rising. In order to battle this startling rise in childhood obesity, the government has recommended that children partake in at least one hour of exercise per day. With classroom learning taking up a great deal of a child’s day Monday-Friday, encouraging activity as much as possible during break times is imperative and that’s where playground equipment can prove to be so valuable.

The aim of playground equipment isn’t just to help children remain active when they’re using it but to attract them in the first place. The right equipment will entice children without the need for teachers to ask them to play. It will provide active stimulation for children of all abilities to stay active and help schools achieve the recommended daily amount of exercise.

Improve A Child’s Physical Health

Playgrounds aren’t just there to provide little one’s with a fun way to let off steam. They’re also an incredible way to help improve a child’s physical health. From their strength to their fitness and even their fine and gross motor skills, playground equipment can prove invaluable. With the right playground equipment, you can have children swinging, climbing, balancing, stretching and much much more, all of which are fantastic for their physical health. 

While slides and swings will help children to develop their core strength, climbing frames and other similar pieces of equipment will help young ones with their fine and gross motor skills, improving dexterity. It will even help improve upper and lower body strength, coordination and it will do all of this without them even realising it.

Help Develop Social Skills

Place children in an empty playground and you may be surprised to see the majority of them simply sit or move around with no direction or aim. Place EYFS playground equipment in there however and you suddenly see a shift in behaviour as little ones gravitate towards the fun and enticing play area. Not only will you see children enjoying themselves but you’ll see far more interaction between the children as they navigate equipment around each other and ultimately learn to play together. By offering more socialisation as they grow up, children learn to express themselves better and often benefit from more confidence too.

Improve Learning Opportunities

While classroom learning is invaluable, it can often become too much for some children, resulting in wandering minds as they become stifled within four walls. By incorporating outdoor learning however, you awaken children, allowing them the opportunity to supplement their classroom learning with learning that incorporates the natural world around them. Playground equipment along with playground markings can be fantastic in terms of facilitating learning, from role play areas to number markings and more. Schools can even benefit from incorporating numeracy and literacy markings into their playgrounds, allowing for more outdoor learning opportunities that will directly benefit classroom led learning such as maths and English.

Further Support Mental Health

Children as young as preschool age can find themselves with surprisingly strict schedules. They can feel stressed and overwhelmed. This can continue throughout school and when coupled with the modern demands of society, it’s easy to see how young minds can feel under a great deal of pressure. With the addition of playground equipment within your school premises however, you’re providing a place for young ones to let off steam and move away from what can feel like a strict regime. Children are allowed to run, play and generally forget about learning while they climb, swing and slide during break and lunch times. Playground equipment is, in short, a great remedy for stress and anxiety.

Want To Find Out More About Playground Equipment For Your School?

More and more schools are now embracing the benefits of playground equipment within their educational setting and with the likes of Sovereign Play, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers providing durable, safe and creative playground equipment for schools across the nation, achieving the ultimate school playground just got a whole lot easier. Contact Sovereign Play today on 01702 804200.

At What Age Should You Plan Your Funeral?

In one sense, it doesn’t matter when you plan your funeral so long as you do so. This is because one of the very basic truths of life is that we do not know when we are going to die. True, people with certain conditions may have more of an idea of their life expectancy than others. However, no one is truly able to say when they will pass on and to make plans in accordance with that expectation. In other words, you need to plan your final arrangements while you can. In this sense, the best time to plan your funeral is today.

After all, why wait? If you do so, then you could end up leaving all the arrangements and decision-making to a loved one at a time when they’re going through a big sense of loss. By planning today, you can save them a great deal of heartache and worry that they are giving you what you would have wanted. Equally, it will help to ensure you get the sort of funeral that matches your beliefs and outlook. 

Perhaps you want a particular religious ceremony? Maybe you would like certain people to attend? There again, maybe you want an ecologically sound funeral or would prefer a cremation to a burial? All these questions get sorted when you plan your funeral including the all-important one of how you will pay for it.

Read on to find out more about the considerations you might like to factor into your funeral arrangements depending on your age bracket.

In Your Twenties and Thirties

Up until the age of 18, you are entitled to a free, if basic, funeral from your local council. After that, however, the costs need to be met. Although the majority of young people do not think about the costs of their funeral, making a financial plan to pay for one, if needed, is a good idea. This is especially the case if you move in with your partner or get married since either one of you will be responsible for the other in the event of an untimely death.

In Your Forties and Fifties

By the time people have reached middle age, they are likely to have more financial responsibilities, such as paying off personal loans, mortgages or meeting the expenses associated with their offspring. At such a time, it is important to know that your funeral arrangements won’t be an emotional or financial burden on your family. Funeral plans and insurance policies are a good idea since they take care of most aspects of what your family should do if you were to pass away.

When You Are Over the Age of Fifty

As people approach their later life, they will often think about what they want from their funeral more. Bear in mind, however, after you have passed fifty you are statistically more likely to die so funeral insurance isn’t always so cost-effective. In other words, you can expect a lower payout for what you pay in. As well as making practical arrangements for your funeral in later life, it is, therefore, often better to opt for an over-50s pre-payment funeral plan. These schemes tend to offer better value for money at any age but especially once you are in your 50s, 60s and over.

The Health Benefits of BBQ

Summer is here and so are the Euros. With many people now accustomed to the new normality of working from home, the sunny days have brought nothing but a small pleasure and according to the (weather forecast), there is plenty more sunshine to come. With that in mind, now is a perfect time to fire up the grill and take advantage of our BBQs. Most Brits will certainly take the opportunity to host Euro parties as the government allow us to socialise with each other, and not only does reuniting with family and friends bring a more positive light to our mental health but there are also some health benefits of using BBQs.

What are the health benefits of using barbeques?

1. Reducing fat consumption from grilling

Grilling meat can help lessen the amount of fat you consume. The excess fat drips away through the grates when you grill or barbeque food, whereas pan-frying keeps the fats sloshing about to be absorbed back into the meat. The NHS even advises grilling meat to lower your fat intake, as well as trimming off visible fats before cooking.

2. Grilling vegetables on the barbie are better!

A good grill can’t go without good veg to go with your meat. Grilling vegetables on the barbeque is not only healthy but delicious! It helps to lower your fat intake as you don’t need much oil to cook vegetables. Plus, the slow-cook method of barbequing helps to lock in vitamins and minerals in those juicy veggies.

3. Carcinogen-free food

Worried about the coals in your barbeque? Some doctors have suggested people switch to bottled gas for their barbeques instead, as it could be healthier.

This is because charcoal is a type of carcinogen, as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines wreak havoc on the health factor of food cooked on an open flame. These cancer-causing chemicals have become a cause for concern for many, so switching to gas is the easy fix. Check out some gas bottle prices and make the switch to keep your barbeque healthy!

Plus, unlike coals, bottled gas is much easier to control, and in turn, the temperature is easier to control. Lighting the outside burners rather than the centre one and popping your food in the middle of the grill with the lid closed is an excellent way to keep that temperature manageable.

4. Quality over quantity

So long as you’re not overcooking things on the barbeque, your food will be flavourful and moisture-locked. As a result, you will be less likely to add condiments (and therefore, extra fats) to your food. This helps to keep an eye on those calories, as well as knocking down your sugar intake.

5. Locked-in nutrients

People love the taste of a good, barbequed meal. It’s great to know then that not only is barbequed food tasty, but it’s also packed with vitamins thanks to the method of cooking preserving those all-important nutrients!

Grilling outdoors can be fun and healthy, and the best of it is that it can be done at any part of the day. Why not grill it up in the evening? If you experience a little chill, then light up your outdoor heater which will keep your recently reunited guests or your household cosy.

Using the 80/20 Diet for Mental Clarity

People share a complicated relationship with food. You eat out of physical necessity — but also when you’re bored, in need of TLC or celebrating a milestone. How can you safeguard your health without losing your mind watching everything you put in your mouth? One solution: Use the 80/20 diet for mental clarity.

What is the 80/20 diet? It’s simple — you focus on eating healthy 80% of the time while giving yourself leeway and grace the remaining 20%. Here are five tips for getting started.

1. Introduce More Healthy Foods

You could chuck everything in your pantry and stock what you need for the latest fad — but doing so is hardly cost-effective or necessary. Instead, dedicate your 80% to adding more healthy foods to your daily diet.

For example, you can slash your risk of heart disease by 30% by substituting seafood for meat one or two days per week. Increase your phytonutrient and antioxidant intake by adding a new plant-based meal or snack each day. Doing so is as simple as replacing that salty, greasy bag of chips with sliced carrots and jicama with hummus dip.

 

2. Build “Mini-Cheats” Into Your Week

Some nutritionists dub the 80/20 diet the “weekend” diet, but it works best if you sneak in room for a little cheat each day. Comfort foods reward your brain with a flood of happy neurotransmitters, after all, and sometimes, you need that boost. If you had a trying day at the office but ate clean regardless, it’s okay to reward yourself at day’s end with a dinner salad — and a slice of pizza.

 

3. Cut Back on Empty Calories

A calorie is a calorie, and you have to reduce the unhealthy ones you consume to make room for all the healthy goodness you add. The beauty of the 80/20 diet is that you need not eliminate these foods — only reduce your intake.

White flour should make your reduction list, as processing produces a chemical called alloxan, which is used to induce diabetes in laboratory animals. When paired with the blood sugar effect of such foods, you have a recipe for a health disaster.

Other foods to avoid include any overly processed foods, like most chips. Processing converts the healthy omega-3s in some vegetable oils like canola into unhealthy trans-fatty versions, damaging your heart.

 

4. But Don’t Deprive Yourself

Human beings aren’t biological robots who eat only to refuel. We have tons of emotions associated with food and depriving ourselves of favorite treats creates stress.

Guess what? Excess stress raises your cortisol levels, which can make you crave unhealthy foods even more. The 80/20 diet lets you find balance. It’s fine to swing by the drive-thru for an occasional french fry fix as long as you don’t do so every lunch break.

 

5. Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Another perk of the 80/20 diet is that it is a-okay to celebrate hitting your weight loss goals with a slice of cake. You also have much more freedom to honor life’s special moments without worrying about your meal.

If you want both pumpkin and pecan pie for Thanksgiving, save your “cheats” by eating especially healthy in the days leading up to the feast. If you go overboard at dinner, make up for it the next day.

 

Use the 80/20 Diet to Improve Your Mental Clarity

Worrying about everything you put in your mouth wastes way too much brainpower. Please use the 80/20 diet to improve your mental clarity.

Gut Health & Glowing Skin: How Probiotics Can Help Your Skin

Most of us have suffered from a skin flare-up at least once. Many people deal with regular breakouts, spot scars that just never heal, or acne – and they are downright annoying.

This can be even more frustrating when you’re washing your face twice a day, thoroughly, and have a consistent skincare regime that you’ve invested both time and money in. Just when we think we’ve found our holy grail product that keeps the red bumps and whiteheads away, a few months later the same thing happens again. Maybe it’s time to look at what we can do internally as well as externally to help our skin?

We are what we eat – and the foods we eat affect us in more ways than we think. Food is fuel for our bodies. If you fuel a car with bad-quality fuel, it wouldn’t run as well as it would with high-quality petrol. The same applies to food – meals that are rich in nutrients and things like probiotics serve our bodies far better than poor-quality food.

Some key things to know first

Before we get into the effect of internal probiotics and nutrients on the skin, let’s clear up our external regime to avoid triggering flare-ups. While you may think you’re doing things to benefit your skin, you could actually be making it worse without realising.

  • Over-washing our skin (more than twice a day) with harsh cleansers like foam can strip our skin of moisture and create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Exfoliating with harsh scrubs can cause microtears in our skin that allow bacteria to get in, as well as causing irritation. Stick to chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid and glycolic acid no more than twice a week.
  • Popping spots to get the pus out. This causes scarring and can also spread bacteria to other pores in the skin.
  • Washing with water that is too hot dries out our skin and can even cause peeling.
  • If you regularly use fake tan, exfoliate with a tan eraser before application. Use tan products that are tailored to be gentle and hydrating to the skin.

What are probiotics?

Gut health can impact everything, from our physical health to our skin. Did you know that even mental health can be affected by poor gut health, including leading to anxiety and depression?

A poor diet or unbalanced microbes in your gut can lead to pesky breakouts. No amount of care and attention you pay to your skin will work if your stomach isn’t happy. If you feel like you’ve tried everything for your skincare regime, then it’s time to look to the gut.

Probiotics are live bacteria that support the healthy ones in your body. Not all bacteria are bad – the good bacteria are vital for a functioning, healthy body. A healthy gut is down to the health of microbes, which is the collection of all the diverse bacteria in our gut, known as the gut microbiome. The microbiome has far-reaching health effects and can even help with acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

How can probiotics help my skin?

There are many different ways probiotics can help skin:

  • Reduce inflammation of acne
  • Rebalance gut balance by boosting good bacteria and prevent the growth of bad bacteria
  • Strengthen the lining of the gut to stop “leaky gut”, which can lead to acne
  • Promote gut health and maintain regular bowel movements – people with acne are more likely to have digestive issues too, including constipation and bloating. Helping with this can help heal acne
  • Help manage the effects of stress – acne and spots can be triggered by stress. Supporting our mental health with a healthy gut can help our skin

Foods that are naturally rich in probiotics

You don’t need to splash a lot of money on fancy probiotic supplements – there are simple and easy foods out there that are rich in probiotics, and these are usually fermented foods. Fermentation is a food process where carbohydrates are naturally converted to organic acids using yeast or bacteria. It’s good for you and tastes pretty great!

  • Kimchi – a popular Korean dish made from fermented cabbage, carrots, garlic, and other vegetables
  • Sauerkraut – similar to kimchi with the same fermentation process but just with cabbage
  • Kombucha – a fermented tea that is slightly fizzy and flavourful. You can get tasty flavours like strawberry and lemon and ginger
  • Kefir – a cultured dairy product that tastes great in smoothies
  • Miso – a seasoning in Japanese food, like miso soup and miso paste
  • Probiotic yoghurt – look for yoghurts that contain live cultures and minimal added sugar (sugar can irritate the skin)

There are hundreds of types of bacteria in our guts, so eating a diverse healthy diet will help different species to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, the western diet isn’t very diverse and contains a lot of fat and sugar. Eating diverse cuisine can ensure you’re getting all the good bacteria you need for a healthy gut and glowing skin.

The Science of Healing: Regenerative Medicine In a Nutshell

The body has the capability to repair and heal itself. The blood has components to stop bleeding and fight viruses and bacteria, playing vital roles in faster healing and recovery process. Tissues in the body have hormones and other complex molecules, which help control, stabilize, and process different organ functions.

However, disease, trauma, and congenital anomalies can render cells, tissues, and organs that are non-functional. And this is when regenerative medicine comes to the rescue.

What Is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine refers to a scope of medicine developing methods to repair or replace diseased or damaged cells, tissues, or organs. It aims to enhance the natural healing process of the body to attain regenerative goals, such as regrowing hair from alopecia or baldness and joint regeneration from a sports injury with the help of stem cells. 

History Of Regenerative Medicine

The history of regenerative medicine began in ancient times. Regeneration has been a controversial topic of interest for thousands of years, which is even depicted in Greek mythology. The early accounts of regenerative medicine date back in the early 16th century with the concept of tissue grafting. Hence, regenerative medicine came from the concepts of artificial hips or surgical implants and skin grafts.

Because of the historical wave of enthusiasm of the researchers, tissue engineering became known as one of the latest developments in regenerative medicine. With advanced medical technology, researchers are able to see the cellular composition of tissues and organs, as well as how stem cells can be programmed to divide and generate new cells. 

The Role Of Stem Cells In Regenerative Medicine 

Stem cells are the foundation of regenerative medicine research and development. In adults, the stem cells in the bone marrow develop into blood components such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Adult stem cells create similar cells such as bone marrow to regenerate blood cells. 

Researchers also discovered embryonic stem cells that come from embryos with the ability to divide and generate more stem cells. They can become any type of body cells (specialized cells), beneficial in tissue and organ repair and regeneration. Like embryonic stem cells, perinatal stem cells or stem cells from the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid have the ability to become specialized cells.

Studies are on their trial stages using induced pluripotent stem cells, in which adult cells undergo genetic reprogramming to become embryonic stem cells. This technique helps prevent cellular rejection from new cells.

Types Of Regenerative Medicine

The different regenerative medicine treatments include stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma injection (PRP), tissue engineering, and artificial organ production. 

Learn more about the science of healing through regenerative medicine treatments below.

1. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections 

Platelets or thrombocytes are made in the bone marrow inside the bones. They’re small, colorless cell components in the blood which are responsible for forming clots to prevent or stop bleeding.  

In PRP therapy, the patient receives injections of concentrated platelets to heal injured ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles faster. That’s why PRP injections are popular in treating sports injuries.

Here are the important things you need to know about platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections:

  • How Does It Work

During the procedure, the doctor draws blood, place it in a centrifuge, a medical equipment that separates the plasma (containing platelets) from the other blood cells. After which, the doctor injects the pure plasma back into the patient’s joint injury to promote faster healing.

Using ultrasound technology, doctors ensure that PRP injections target the correct area. This procedure takes about 30 minutes, depending on the target area. 

  • Primary Goal

The concentrated platelet injection mimics the healing process like when blood swells in an injury site. Once the platelets reach the target area, they release growth factors, accelerating the body signals to continue the reparative or healing process.

  • Applications

Tiger Woods received PRP injections in 2010, which was back then still under experiment, and has become a popular treatment for sports injuries. Today, PRP injections help treat joint injuries, muscle injuries, torn ligaments, and arthritis-related pain.

PRP injections are popular cosmetic procedures too. Dermatologists use PRP injections to treat androgenic alopecia or pattern baldness and facial treatment to reduce signs of aging.

A PRP treatment costs US$250 to US$1,500 per session.

  • Insurance Coverage

Insurance policies may or may not cover PRP therapy. Patients need to check with their insurance provider to know if PRP is part of their plan. Most insurance providers don’t cover PRP treatments for cosmetic reasons, like hair loss. 

  • Duration of Effects 

It usually takes several weeks or months for PRP therapy to start working. For instance, it may take up to six months to observe the full effects of PRP injections in the hair scalp and skin. A patient may need several sessions of PRP injections to maintain results, like in hair loss treatment.

  • Preparation and After-Care

It’s important for the patient to eat before the PRP therapy session since the procedure involves drawing blood to avoid a lightheaded feeling or dizziness. The patient should report any intense or sharp pain during the procedure. After the procedure, the patient should avoid washing the area for 48 hours. 

2. Stem-Cell Injections 

Regenerative medicine includes stem cell therapy, which offers amazing future medical benefits in treating degenerative diseases, serious injuries, and chronic medical conditions. As mentioned, stem cells divide to form daughter cells that become new stem cells or specialized cells with a specific function, like bone cells, heart muscle cells, blood cells, or brain cells. They can replace old and damaged cells in patients via stem cell injection to treat disease.

Here are the important things you need to know about stem cells injections:

  • How It Works

In stem cell injection, the stem cells grown in the lab are programmed to become specialized cells like nerve or heart cells. The doctor implants or injects stem cells to the patient in the injured or diseased area. For instance, a patient with heart disease can receive stem cell injection into the heart muscle to help repair the defective cardiac muscle.

  • Primary Goal 

Stem cell injections aim to repair and regenerate damaged tissues.

  • Applications

Patients who have osteoarthritis, burns, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke, type 1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease might benefit from stem cell injections.

Stem cell therapy also shows promising benefits in testing new drugs to ensure the effectiveness and safety of investigational drugs. Testing new drugs using stem cell injection involves assessing if there are changes in nerve cells after the procedure. Doctors and researchers study how to program cells into tissue’s specific cells for testing new drugs using stem cell technology.

The cost of stem cell therapy ranges from US$5,000 to US$20,000.

  • Duration of Effects 

The effectiveness of stem cell therapy depends on several factors including the severity of the injury, the patient’s age, lifestyle habits, and the type of injected stem cells. In a research report, patients saw improvement in signs and symptoms of spinal cord injury in less than six months.

  • Preparation and After-Care

Before stem cell therapy, the patient shouldn’t take any anti-inflammatory medications. The recovery period from this stem cell injection is two to three weeks. The patient may feel mild pain, soreness, and stiffness from the extraction site of the affected joint. After the procedure, the patient needs to rest for 24 to 48 hours.

3. Tissue Engineering

One of the essential fields of regenerative medicine is tissue engineering. Here are the important things you need to know about tissue engineering:

  • How It Works

Tissue engineering involves a complex process, forming a three-dimensional or 3D functional tissue for repairing, replacing, and regenerating tissue or organ.

  •  Applications

Tissue engineering isn’t widely used in patient treatment. However, it plays a crucial role in medical research, such as testing new drug formulations for personalized medicine. For instance, researchers use the human liver, kidney, or other organ tissues in rats to determine how the human body could also respond to the newly formulated drug.

  • Artificial Organ Production

Artificial organs include bone and joint replacements, sensory organ replacements (like eye replacement), organ replacement, and skin and soft tissue replacements. Biomedical engineers create devices, procedures, diagnostic machines, or systems for the production of artificial internal organs and replacements for body parts.

Here are the important things you need to know about bioartificial organ production:

  • How It works

Bioartificial organ manufacturing produces artificial organs by using stem cells or adult cells or both. Living cells and biomaterials, like growth factors, polymers, bioactive agents, and biochemical signals are essential aspects of artificial organ production.

  • Applications 

There have been cases of using artificial organs in the human subject, such as a laboratory-grown synthetic trachea or windpipe. However, the biggest issues that bioartificial organ transplantation faces are creating and maintaining a good blood supply to artificially grown tissues.

Conclusion 

Regenerative medicine has come a long way and continuous research and development are being conducted to help improve healthcare. Nowadays, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections use the patient’s natural healing system in improving musculoskeletal problems by repairing and renewing cells, triggering the body’s healing process. In addition, the healthcare industry continuously researches stem cells because of their promising medical benefits. 

The Role of Nutrition in Top Level Sports

Former England cricket captain and once-BBC Sports Personality of the Year Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff recently appeared in a BBC documentary titled Freddie Flintoff – Living with Bulimia.

The 42-year old opened up about his own experience, battling an eating disorder while representing his country on the world stage. But he also delved into another conversation — the role that nutrition plays in performance sports.

The common perception is that high performance athletes are not only the fittest but the healthiest individuals on the planet. This isn’t always the case. Maintaining an image expected of them by the media or by sponsors has prevented many athletes from being their best in order to look their best.

With this in mind, Charles Tyrwhitt, who has recently partnered with England Rugby as the team’s official formalwear partner, delve into nutrition in sport in order to gain a better understanding of the role it plays.

Nutrition then

In the past, nutrition was something almost completely disregarded in sport. We aren’t just talking about the drinking culture that existed within English football in the 80s and 90s either!

Lionel Messi, considered the world-over as the GOAT, was hardly an advocate of a healthy diet during the early years of his career. The South American diet traditionally emphasises red meat and stacked carbohydrates, and Messi’s was no different. However, it was his adoration of fizzy drinks and snacks that owed to a drop in performance. During a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, the striker began vomiting on the pitch, something his dietician later credited to his sugar-filled binging.

The first nutritionist to grace the Premier League was in 1996. But as late as 2008, Harry Redknapp, former Spurs Manager, was quoted saying: “If you can’t pass the ball properly, a bowl of pasta isn’t going to make the difference.” It wasn’t so much ignorance necessarily, rather a sheer lack of understanding.

The importance

Nowadays, you’ll genuinely struggle to find a sporting discipline or sports star that doesn’t have an attributed nutritionist. The body is a high-performance machine, one that requires not only maintenance but the correct fuel in order to run at optimum levels. Nutritionists will plan the holistic, day-to-day diet of athletes which help maintenance and recovery. They also create an athlete’s performance diet which is used for game day and training sessions.

Everything must be considered, from the obvious features like protein for muscle growth and repair to the more obscure additions, like beetroot to reduce inflammation. England Rugby Nutritionist Graeme Close states: “Advice must be research-informed and evidence-based in orders to deliver the best possible results.”

Similarly, the inclusion of high quality, fresh produce can be counterproductive if it is not being utilised effectively. Simply eating good food does not yield good results.

The smallest margins

The physical intensity within most sports in recent years has increased tenfold. Heavyweight boxers are becoming more agile, long-distance runners are becoming considerably quicker, and rugby players are getting heavier — in the most unlikely of positions.

The thing that coaches need to look at then is those minuscule margins. Whether it be the final strides of a 26.2-mile road race or the additional half-centimetre reach at the tip of a lineout, when you’ve catered to everything else, where do you turn

Technology, of course, can do so much. Conditioning has its proven worth. But if you’re wanting to be the best you can be over a long period of time, your diet and nutrition needs serious attention—and this applies to more than just sport, it can be implemented into all walks of life—as we’ve previously suggested, the body is a machine.

At a younger age, athletes might not experience the over-arching effects that the lack of a constructive diet brings. But having navigated their early 20s, the recovery toll begins.

This is the time when the smallest margins have the biggest impact. In recent years, it is at this stage when we’ve seen athletes opt for a meat-free diet. Professional footballer Chris Smalling hails red meat as the reason behind the inflammation in his joints and suggests his decision to go vegan has significantly reduced this. Meagan Duhamel, Olympic figure skating champion, meanwhile, suggests that her major boosts in energy levels and athletic performance are inextricably linked to the removal of meat from her diet.

Regardless of what the diet entails, there is no denying that the success involved in the likes of Eliud Kipchoge’s recent sub-two-hour marathon, which has been partly facilitated by a focus on nutrition.

As time goes on, we are inevitably going to witness considerably more research carried out in regard to the role nutrition plays in sport.

The Importance of Hand Hygiene in Health Care Settings

Maintaining good hygiene levels is important for staying healthy and avoiding falling ill. Many illnesses can be contracted by touching certain surfaces, passing on bacteria or viruses that’s been left on it.

Here’s why hand hygiene is crucial to keep on top of, especially within health care where there could be an increased risk to patients and staff alike.

 

What is hand hygiene?

Hand hygiene, or hand washing, is the practice of regularly washing your hands to remove germs which could lead to health complications. You are meant to thoroughly wash your hands using warm water and soap for 20 seconds, ensuring you clean every part of your hands.

This is one of the key steps behind infection control and has played a key role in reducing infections within the coronavirus pandemic. An increased awareness of the need for thorough hand washing in order to keep people safe led to multiple songs being used to gauge how long to wash your hands for.

 

The stats behind hand hygiene

While hand washing is crucial in preventing infections, both global and UK-based stats show how many of us take this for granted.

Only three in five people have access to basic hand washing facilities worldwide, showing how many don’t have what they need to keep themselves safe.

Despite having the necessary facilities, many people in the UK still don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, which is one of the places where infections can easily spread. Only 61% of office workers in UK said they washed their hands after using the toilet – a disappointingly low number.

The pandemic has helped to raise this number, but it shouldn’t take a global health crisis in order for people to simply wash their hands.

 

When should you practice hand hygiene in a medical setting?

As there are many people who’s health is compromised within hospitals and other health care settings, hand washing should be done regularly and after certain interactions. These include:

– Before touching a patient

– Before clean/aseptic procedures

– After body fluid exposure risks

– After touching a patient

– After touching patient surroundings 

There are additional preventative measures which medical settings will employ to further reduce the risk of infection. Health care workers may use disposable gloves when carrying out certain tasks to prevent the transmission of viruses and bacteria.

Keeping surfaces clean is also a high priority, with multi-purpose cleaners helping to further prevent the spread of bacteria. Cleaning chairs between out-patient appointments and areas of high activity like doors also help keep health care settings sanitary.

Although these measures are helpful, nothing is better than simply washing your hands regularly to stop these issues at the source. Follow the advice on proper hand washing technique and keep those around your safe, especially in medical settings.

Have People’s Perceptions of Non-Alcoholic Drinks Changed?

It’s fair to say the UK enjoys an alcoholic beverage or two from time to time. From lagers to cocktails, the alcoholic drink industry continues to concoct a variety of drinks for us to try. However, the rise of the non-alcoholic drinks market has changed the face of the industry forever.

With an increasing number of people swapping their pints for a non-alcoholic one, the sale of non-alcoholic beer grew by 58 per cent between 2019 and 2020. As for alcohol, Beck’s reported a year-on-year decline in sales by 26 per cent in 2019, along with Carlsberg Pilsner declining by 11 per cent. So, why is the UK opting for a soft drink over a sore head? Here, we discuss how and why people’s perceptions of non-alcoholic drinks are changing. We also explore how brands are innovating their product line to satisfy consumer demand.

Beers and gins – minus the beer and gin

The alcoholic drinks market is booming with a variety of different beers and gins. Popular brands such as Bombay Sapphire, Gordon’s, and Beefeater continue to satisfy the nation’s taste buds with a variety of flavours, including elderflower, blood orange, rhubarb, and ginger.

However, with reports highlighting the decline in alcoholic drinks sales, some brands have started to present consumers with NOLO (no to low alcohol) alternatives. Three Spirit, Seedlip Spice, and Amplify Distilled Alcohol-Free Spirit are changing the gin market forever and offer a tasty alternative to those who enjoy the sociable aspect of going for drinks with friends but not the hangover the next day.

As for the sale of beers and lagers, some of the market’s most popular brands have introduced an alcohol-free line of beverages. Beck’s, for example, released Beck’s Blue, an alcoholic-free lager that is fat-free and just 53 calories per 275ml bottle. In more recent years, Heineken jumped on board the alcohol-free lager trend and launched Heineken 0.0 in 2017. For those who regularly opt for the alcohol-free option, you’ll know these drinks taste almost identical to their alcoholic alternatives. So, why not give them a go?

So, why is the alcohol-free market growing?

For a start, the UK is becoming a lot more health-conscious in general, a 2020 report finds. One way this is reflected is through the rise of veganism, with an increasing number of people swapping their diet to a vegan one. Other than the rise in ethical consumerism, reports find that one of the main reasons people are opting for a vegan diet is to ‘lead a healthier lifestyle’.

There is also a notable correlation between the rise of the alcohol-free market and the rapid growth of the health and wellness industry. Global Wellness Institute reports the wellness industry is worth a staggering £2.8 trillion worldwide, and GlobalData predicts that by 2022, people will spend on average £487 a year on health and wellness products.

With all things considered, it comes as no surprise that the UK’s perceptions of alcohol-free drinks are changing. Furthermore, the biggest dry January on record was reported in 2021, with 6.5 million people taking part in the UK. With the number of health-conscious consumers increasing year on year, it’s fair to say the NOLO trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The boom of kombucha

Other than the classic beer and gins that never fail to satisfy the nations taste buds, the rise of kombucha is causing waves through the drinks industry. Kombucha is a green or black tea drink that has strains of healthy bacteria added into it and is then left in room temperature conditions to ferment for several weeks. It is the fermentation process that is responsible for breaking down sugars into CO2 and alcohol. However, commercial kombucha teas contain less than 0.5% alcohol, therefore it is considered to be a low-to-no alcohol drink.

The kombucha market is predicted to grow by 20.64 per cent between 2019 and 2027.  

Kombucha has many health benefits attached, providing a NOLO alcoholic drink to enjoy. The health benefits attached to this drink are caused by its high levels of probiotics, which are linked to improvements in digestion, reduced feeling of depression and anxiety, and weight loss. Furthermore, test-tube studies suggest there is a link between the antioxidants found in kombucha tea and reducing the growth and spread of multiple types of cancer.

With kombucha becoming increasingly popular, it is undeniable this has been driven by the rise of health-conscious consumers.

The return of the slushie

There is another non-alcoholic drink that is making fresh waves in the industry too. The global slush machine market is predicted to reach a value of $391.3 million by 2026. Typically, we associate slushies with going to the local shop as a child and pondering over which slush machine syrup we want. Nowadays, the industry offers so much more than just this. Some brands have even expanded their range to offer alcoholic-slush options.

Introducing frozen cocktails. These drinks present our favourite cocktails, including strawberry daiquiri, mojito, and blue lagoon, in the form of slushies. These chilled drinks can easily be made alcohol-free, so they are the perfect NOLO beverage choice. With trends predicting this industry to rise worldwide, perhaps NOLO slushies will be the next best thing to compete with the alcoholic drinks market.

Going for a catch-up drink with friends is an activity many of us in the UK enjoy doing. Despite day-drinking often being associated with alcohol consumption and headaches the next day, it doesn’t have to be! Instead, why not see what the non-alcoholic drinks menu has to offer?

The Causes of Tooth Loss in Adults

Do you remember losing a tooth as a child? Most would consider this the first step towards growing up and a chance to receive money from the tooth fairy. But what’s the reason behind tooth loss in adults? Studies show that around 6% of British adults have no natural teeth, meaning at some point they have lost their teeth most likely through unnatural causes.

We’re all taught the importance of good oral hygiene from a young age, and in order to prolong the lifespan of your teeth and gums into later life, it’s good to learn about the causes of tooth loss in adults.

 

Periodontal disease

This is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults and affects nearly 10% of the global population, according to World Health Organisation research. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding or swollen gums, oral pain, sensitive teeth and tartar buildup. If left untreated, pockets between the tooth and gum can form, allowing harmful bacteria to invade and lead to bone deterioration and eventual tooth loss.

 

Poor nutrition & oral hygiene

Sometimes, a poor diet and lack of oral hygiene are the culprits to tooth loss. The acidity levels in sugary foods and carbohydrates such as citrus fruits, crisps, bread or soft drinks can put you at risk of cavities and tooth decay. As we get older, eating and drinking foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, alongside maintaining a daily oral care routine by brushing at least twice a day is vital towards a healthy lifestyle, and most of all, preventing tooth loss.

Dental trauma

Accidents can happen, and whether it’s via a hit to the face with a ball during sports, opening a bottle with your teeth or taking a fall, tooth loss can occur. Any extended amount of force to the mouth could result in a lost or knocked out tooth, that’s why professional athletes use mouth guards to protect themselves from harm. Teeth grinding or jaw clenching are other bad habits that could lead to dental trauma too.

 

The solution

As you can see, there are many causes of tooth loss in adults but if you happen to notice any signs of loose teeth, seek professional dental care immediately. Even losing just one tooth increases your chances of developing oral infections down the road. That’s why dentists like Ten Dental for example are able to provide a range of solutions for replacing missing teeth, including dental bridges and All On 4 dental implants in London for long-term, natural looking treatments to patients who need it most. 

The Best Colours to Support Your Child’s Well-Being

Though unavoidable, going in and out of lockdown in 2020 has impacted everyone, including our children. The Education Endowment Foundation found that it had a particularly detrimental effect on children’s language and speech acquisition.

Perhaps more troublingly, the difficult events of the last year and a half have brought harm to our children’s mental health too. Several surveys reveal issues such as poor sleep, lower concentration levels, and mental distress.

With schools now reopen and normal life trickling back into the home, we’ll no doubt see many of these problems begin to rectify. Best of all, there are things you can do at home to help nurture this healing process for your kids. By creating the optimum environment for their mental health and learning, you can help support their return to normal. One of the easiest ways to do this is with colour psychology.

Colour psychology is the exploration of how different hues can impact our moods, both positively and negatively. In this article, we’ll show you the top colour choices for your home that will bolster your children’s creativity, learning, and mental well-being.

Calm a bedroom with beautiful blues

When you think of the colour blue, what do you associate with it? Some see it as calming, like a bright blue sky or the serene ocean. This is how your children perceive blue too, and it can have a number of positive effects on them.

Research shows that the colour blue can help guide babies into a relaxing sleep, which means less stressful nights for them and for you! Its calming effects are so powerful that evidence suggests it can help active children with a lot of energy to relax. St Giles Blue from Farrow & Ball paint is a nice balance between vibrant and muted and makes a good base colour for children and babies’ bedrooms.

The International Journal of Advanced Research published a study that showed blue appears to stimulate creativity in children too. The study gave children between 8–12 years old a set of questions, one on blue paper and one on red. It found that the children who interacted with the colour blue were able to produce more “novel” ideas with a wider variety of answers. The red group, on the other hand, gave more “ordinary” answers.

Yellow to spark learning

Many people associate yellow with joy. It’s positive, it’s bright, and it’s sunny. This means it’s the perfect mood booster for both adults and children. A landmark 1993 academic study found that children respond positively to bright colours like yellow as opposed to dark colours. It’s also associated with better concentration and memory, meaning it’s a great colour to incorporate into your child’s learning. Many recommend its use in nurseries, but at home, you could incorporate this with a yellow desk in your child’s room, or with yellow pencils, paper, or books.

Psychologists recommend using yellow as an accent colour rather than painting a whole room with it. While red is well known for intensifying feelings of aggression and anger and isn’t recommended as a prominent room colour, too much yellow can also invoke this in children.

Coming back to earth with green

Green is both grounding and calming. It immediately conjures images of nature and tranquillity. The colour has so many positive effects on children that it’s hard to know where to start. Like blue, it can help children relax and even help babies drift off into a peaceful sleep.

That’s not all. While yellow is a great learning colour because of its ability to increase concentration and memory, green is a great addition because it can increase reading speed and a child’s understanding of text. These attributes mean green is fantastic as the main colour of a child’s bedroom, in their classroom at school, or at home.

It could be tempting to paint your child’s bedroom walls with a chirpy, bright green, but we would recommend a more subdued hue. These softer colours more closely resemble the greens we’ll find in nature for maximum relaxing effects.

Balance it out with brown and beige

Brown and beige can be relaxing, and they work brilliantly to complement bolder shades. These neutral colours are essential to balancing out the bright colours that inspire joy and creativity – because you can have too much of a good thing.

Schools often make use of these earthy tones. They tend to come in the form of light wooden furniture, but these tones may also be found on tables and classroom walls post-nursery. This isn’t simply because they’re common interior colours, but instead because research shows too many bright colours can be distracting and overwhelming.

Colour psychology and neurodivergent children

It’s important to know that some hues aren’t always beneficial. For example, some children may be more susceptible to being overwhelmed or distracted by colour too. While the psychology of colour on neurotypical children is well established and clearly shows bright tones are positive, autistic and neurodivergent children often react differently. Studies show 85% of neurodivergent children perceive colour more intensely. This means bright colours can contribute to sensory overload, with a 2016 academic study showing bright yellow is particularly overwhelming for autistic boys.

Green is a good choice because studies have shown autistic children are often drawn to the colour. Pale pink has also been shown as a favourite colour of autistic children. Experts recommend keeping colours in the home light and muted to make autistic children more comfortable.

The pandemic has caused plenty of issues with our overall well-being. With the school holidays around the corner and our children once again spending more time in the home, it’s important that we do everything we can to support them. Incorporating tried-and-tested memory, sleep, and mood-boosting colours into their bedroom and your wider home can help provide comfort and relaxation as we begin to return to normal.

Truro Revealed as the UK’s Most Tired City

The NHS has identified unexplained tiredness as one of the most common reasons why people will see their GP. While some fatigue can be expected, particularly for those with stressful jobs, children or changing sleeping schedules, continual or unexplained tiredness is concerning.

The past year has been a test of our wellbeing. The coronavirus is known to cause tiredness both during and after infection, but other changes during the civil emergency may have affected our mental wellbeing. Leading pharmaceutical manufacturer Pharma Nord has supplied data that reveals which UK city may be affected by fatigue the most.

Reviewing Google search data, the study shows how many people have searched for fatigue-related terms since December 2019. This reveals how fatigue concerns have changed throughout the year and during various lockdowns, and which UK city is most likely to ask Google for solutions to their tiredness-related problems. Here, we look at the results.

COVID fatigue continues to grow

The end of the pandemic appears to be in sight. Recent vaccine developments spell out an exit from restrictions and a gradual return to normal life. However, the health effects of the coronavirus can last beyond the initial infectious period. The damage the virus causes to the body is being defined as long COVID. A study by King’s College London has already gathered data on 60,000 people reporting coronavirus symptoms up to three months after their initial infection. This is usually in the form of fatigue.

The search data reveals that this is a growing problem in the UK. The search term “COVID fatigue” has increased steadily all year, with UK residents searching for it now more than ever. In fact, searches for the term have increased by 317 per cent between the announcement of the first national lockdown on March 23rd and the end of November. Even more concerning is that searches for the term have almost doubled since the start of September.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK did dip temporarily in the summer, but the steady increase of people searching for “COVID fatigue” may represent the growing number of people who have been infected by the virus and are now experiencing the long-term effects. If fatigue is growing in the UK, is the coronavirus directly responsible?

Truro and Newport

The search data was divided by searches in different UK cities. This revealed which cities searched for fatigue-related terms the most. Dividing the results by population reveals which city has the highest percentage of people search for tiredness questions and cures.

Interestingly, Cornwall’s only city, Truro, has been deemed the UK’s most tired town. People in Truro were 276 per cent more likely to search for a fatigue-related term than the rest of the UK. These terms included “combat fatigue”, “insomnia”, and “lack of energy”. However, it is difficult to say if this is a reflection on the coronavirus. After all, the South West region currently has the fewest cases by population. What is causing tiredness in the county town of Truro is yet to be assessed. Truro was followed by Ely and Newry as the most tired cities in the UK.

On the flip side, Newport was reported as the least tired city in the UK. Newportonians were 53 per cent less likely to search for a tiredness-related term than the rest of the UK. People in the Welsh city searched for phrases related to tiredness causes and cures less than any other city in the UK. However, what maintains the energy of these people is not known.

How the Pandemic Forced Us to Rethink the Data Science Toolbox

By Dr Lindsey Zuloaga, Chief Data Scientist at HireVue – the global leader in video interviewing, assessments, chatbot and recruiting automation technology

Machine learning is an exciting field that is contributing to a new era of advanced automation by constantly learning from new data and enabling systems to evolve and improve over time. However, in a year that has been anything but ‘normal’, Data Scientists are faced with a significant issue – how they can counteract the impact of abnormal data caused by the pandemic? 

The impact of COVID-19 on Data Science as a profession

The pandemic led to widespread cutbacks across a plethora of companies, stalling the development of talent in numerous industries. Fortunately for Data Scientists, they have been incredibly lucky to be in a high-demand field and able to do most of their jobs remotely. That being said, Data Science teams that had not proven their value or did not play a central role within their companies had a much higher risk of being cut.

The pandemic shook the industry in other ways as well, with COVID-19 proving hugely disruptive to Data Scientists’ models. Across industries and datasets, it was highly likely that the patterns and behaviors that Data Scientists were tracking were majorly distorted, presenting challenges to decision making. While some models may have been able to self-correct, many others have been rendered useless. With the inability to rely on historical data to train models and expect them to work as pre-pandemic, Data Scientists were tasked to work on new processes to keep deployed models responsive.

So, if the model is only as good as the data, what do we do when the data coming in does not reflect normal behaviors or situations? For many teams, the simple answer has been to shift away from automatic learning to a lot of manual intervention. 

Naturally, in the hiring space, we saw a surge of hiring in certain areas and a decline in others. Some of our biggest customers put a complete pause on all hiring, like hospitality, while supermarket / grocery store hiring, for example, blew up. Trends are showing that a lot of people used this time to reevaluate their careers and change direction, and we saw major changes in how companies are hiring. 

Our predictions for 2021 couldn’t rely entirely on Machine Learning tools – we had to look at the recovery trends and take into account a lot more contextual information that we were getting on the ground – through customer relationships, economic trends, etc. We learned to expect the opposite of what Machine Learning models might have told us – a recovery rather than a downward spiral.

What COVID-19 reminded us about bias and being good stewards of data 

The staggering differences in the way ethnic minorities were adversely affected by the pandemic is something that couldn’t be ignored in public health responses, and it shouldn’t be ignored across industries as we move forward in our recovery. As Data Scientists, we always need to start with curiosity, and ask systems-level questions about the trends, anomalies, and patterns we’re seeing. These questions help us solve prediction problems by intervening when it’s appropriate and we’re seeing demographic differences in outcomes that can become baked into models, possibly propagating bias.

The approach to handling biased data will vary depending on the application. As an example of bias mitigation, at HireVue we build models to assess job candidates by predicting job-related outcomes from video interviews and games. Following the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, we strive to minimize demographic group differences in outcomes. Our models are therefore optimized to both accurately predict the outcome while minimizing group differences. Meaning that certain input data which led to these differences gets de-weighted or ignored. We carefully and rigorously audit and test for bias related to age, gender, or ethnicity throughout the process — before, during, and after development of every assessment model. Models are regularly re-tested and re-trained to ensure bias does not creep in as the customer’s data and changing requirements of the job evolve.

Moving forward, something my team is on the lookout for is data anomalies stemming from the “shecession.” Women were 1.8 times more likely than men to have lost their jobs and have dramatically increased their unpaid caring roles for children and older relatives. Is this showing up in interview take-rates? Perhaps in length of answers because women were interviewing with kids in the next room? Once we understand the issues women are facing in the job market right now, we can determine if we counteract bias through math alone. The remedy may be quite different, depending on what we learn. It may be that changes to the candidate experience serve as a substantial remedy, such as encouragement to continue or re-record answers.

Learning from the anomalies and moving forward

From a data perspective alone, the past year has been a fascinating and instructive reminder about the value of Machine Learning. This totally unprecedented situation is a reminder that not every problem requires a black and white, mathematical solution. Data Science teams must stay informed about macro, sociological trends and how they’ll show up in data sets, then determine whether using automated learning, manual intervention, or a combination of both is appropriate.  

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic and head into recovery, there might continue to be a chasm between what we see in the training data and the “real-world” data, but if as a profession, we remain both vigilant and agile, we can ensure our models continue to function as intended.

Surging Nanomedicine Investments Improve Global Healthcare and Pandemic Protection

COVID-19’s outbreak has coincided with investments flooding into nanomedicine healthcare companies, according to the latest data.

The World Nano Foundation and Nano Magazine have highlighted a report by marketdataforecast.com that the global nanomedicine market worth $141.34 billion in 2020, will rise to $258.11bn by 2025.

The report also highlights a huge upsurge of investment support from governments and funds to develop nano therapies for vaccines, diagnostic imaging, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery following the impact of COVID-19.

Furthermore, nanomedicines offer huge advantages for wider healthcare also impacted by the pandemic and Long-COVID after-effects upon cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, immunological-related diseases.

This aligns with investment monitoring platform Pitchbook’s forecast that health tech investment overall will top $10 trillion by 2022 and that nanomedicine investment has grown the sector by 250% in the last five years.

Median nanotech healthcare companies deal sizes have also doubled since 2019, from £1 million to £2m in the last 12 months, while the number of deals in 2020 was greater than ever, overtaking 100 deals in a single year for the first time.

Investment is already aiding innovation as nanotech researchers and scientists work to improve biomedical devices such as prosthetics, provide new cancer treatments, and develop bone healing therapies, along with more innovations that could transform global healthcare.

Nanotech researchers have found nanobodies that block the COVID-19 and, potentially, other coronaviruses from entering cells and developed mask designs at nanoscale making them both cheaper and more effective.

The fast global response to the pandemic was also enabled by nanotechnology, being pivotal in Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine development and Innova Medical Group’s 30-minute lateral flow COVID tests.

World Nano Foundation co-founder Paul Stannard said COVID-19 highlighted weaknesses in healthcare systems across the developed world, proving that long-term, innovative solutions are needed to enable change and prevent future pandemics, with nanomedicine playing an ever greater role in this transformation of global healthcare.

And while impressed by rising investments in and recognition for the nanotech sector, he warned against any let-up in this trend:

“Nanotechnology is not only crucial to our current healthcare systems, but researchers and scientists in this field are on the cusp of therapies, devices, and innovation that will revolutionise how we move forward.”

“To ensure pandemic preparedness, high-quality healthcare, and longevity, we must invest in nano healthtech and care innovations.”

His message was echoed by Kojo Annan (son of late and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan) who is a general partner in the Luxembourg-based Vector Innovation Fund, which recently launched a sub-fund raising an initial $300m for pandemic protection and preparedness.

Annan said: “A virtuous circle is developing between investment and healthtech.

Lately, we have seen the development of multiple vaccines, acceleration of technologies linked to decoding the genome, the rise of nanomedicine and the use of artificial intelligence to monitor infectious diseases and new pathogens.

“More investment in sustainable healthtech funding can only accelerate this trend, bringing fairer and global distribution of healthcare, greater affordability, and preventive and early intervention healthcare, all ultimately improving the longevity of life.

“The pandemic has also transformed telemedicine investment and demonstrated that nanoscience and innovation could deliver more resilient societies and ecosystems for healthcare.”

How Are New Mums Adapting to the New Normal?

For new parents, lockdown has been a surreal time. On one hand, many parents have been able to work from home or have been furloughed, allowing them more time than ever to focus on their precious new arrival. On the other hand, however, the pandemic has brought with it many uncertainties and unexpected worries for new parents.

As well as feeling concerned about the normal elements of parenthood and going through major changes in your body, such as postpartum bleeding, there is now a whole new set of worries occupying new parents’ minds. These worries vary from health concerns to social isolation and the fear that their baby’s development might have been affected by the lockdown.

With these concerns in mind, let’s find out exactly what new mums and dads are stressed about and how people have faced the countless challenges of becoming a new parent in lockdown, including returning to a sense of ‘normality’.   

Can my baby contract Covid-19?

For parents of babies and young children alike, there is a sense of uncertainty surrounding getting back to ‘normal’. While people rush to make the most of the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme and soak up the sun in beer gardens, new parents are likely to feel much more cautious.

Although the risks of a baby contracting Covid-19 are relatively low, it is natural that new parents will feel anxious about caring for their little one during this period. According to NHS advice, it is important that you keep your baby away from anyone with a cough, a fever, or other viral symptoms. In many cases, babies will not show signs of illness and are likely to recover fully, but if your baby has a cough, a fever, or feels unusually hot or cold, be sure to call the NHS on 111.

With this in mind, it’s advisable to avoid busy places and too much socialising. However, there’s no harm in reuniting with family members and friends if you follow government guidelines and do what is comfortable for you.

Will my baby’s development be affected?

Many parents are also concerned about their child’s development and whether the period of isolation will negatively affect their new-born. One new mum, Chloe from Richmond, expressed her concern that her baby boy Henry “might become super clingy and dependent on us” going on to say that,  “I always wanted him to be confident and happy to see other people.”

Thankfully, child development experts agree that the lack of contact that babies have had during lockdown is not likely to have a negative impact. One paediatrician, Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani, said that new-born babies “gain a sense of security and resilience from their closest caregivers, so there is no need to worry about the absence of wider family and friends”

Because most children only tend to introduce other kids into their play around the age of three, there is little worry that babies and younger children will feel any major social absence during lockdown. Even those who are older than three will quickly adapt; Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani went on to explain that, “the wonderful thing about children’s brains is that they adapt easily to these challenging times, and will replace peers with parents of older siblings to train their social skills. Once lockdown is loosened, they will catch up quickly.”

What impact might the lockdown have had on my mental health?

Another serious matter to consider is that of parents’ mental health. Although having a baby is a blessing for most, it is an extraordinary challenge, and one that can often only be eased by supportive friends and family offering to lend a helping hand.

During lockdown, many parents have felt isolated and somewhat helpless. Writing in Wired Magazine, new mum Sophie Hines explains that, “Like many parents, I’ve had an occasional pang of wondering whether a lack of interesting new humans and stimulating environments will affect my daughter’s development. But to be honest, I’ve more often felt sorry for myself. My situation is privileged in many ways, but it’s hard being housebound with a baby.”

When there is often so much reliance on a family’s close-knit support bubble, isolation has harmed many new mums’ and dads’ mental health, and this issue won’t just disappear now that some socialising has returned. Deep-set issues such as postnatal depression and paternal postpartum depression need to be talked about and worked through with support as lockdown lifts. It is essential that you contact a health professional if you have experienced any depression-related symptoms.

What’s more, it’s also completely natural to feel a sense of loss as we progressively come out of lockdown. For many families, this time has been precious and a true blessing—coming out of your close family bubble and re-entering ‘normality’ is a difficult feat that should not be underestimated.

Am I entitled to additional maternity leave?

Finally, there has been much debate around the matter of maternity leave, which many mums have felt robbed of. Even though most new mums have been able to enjoy some quality time with their new-borns, parents across the country have expressed concern that the lockdown has halted many typical maternity leave activities (such as mother and baby classes) that they’re worried their baby will not get to benefit from.

Because of this, many new mums, such as Bethan Jones, have petitioned online for a three-month extension to maternity pay. Talking to Sky News, Bethan expressed her concerns: “I was completely isolated from any other new mums that could have helped me and build a bond with [and] lockdown took away social contact, not only for me but also for my son.”. For mums like Bethan, who consider mother and baby classes essential for both their child’s development and their own mental health, government action concerning additional maternity leave would come as an enormous relief.

It’s most certainly a challenging time for new parents, but as lockdown eases, there is a great amount of hope on the horizon. Being reconnected with friends and family who are most likely desperate to meet the new arrival is a happy reward for everything parents have accomplished over these past few months.

5 Ways to Improve the Usability of Healthcare Websites

To have an effective healthcare website, you must ensure its usability. This means that its design should be user-centered. That way, when they visit your website, they can easily use it to find what they need and achieve their healthcare goals.  

Usability is essential because people visiting your website will find other similar sites if they find it difficult to use yours. If your website has good visuals but isn’t functional, then it wouldn’t be of much use for health-related concerns. Thus, usability encompasses good visuals and functionality. To achieve this, here are some ways to improve your healthcare website: 

1. Give Importance To UI Design

User Interface (UI) refers to the overall design of your website. That means that a UI developer must program how your website should look while facilitating user experience and usability. This includes the various features of your website, allowing your users to interact with it. 

For instance, if users fill up an online prescription form, components like the radio button, drop-down list, and text box are part of what makes up the user interface. These are the objects that users interact with or use to enter data into your healthcare website.  

In addition, a good UI makes your visitors quickly find what they’re looking for. Your site should entice your users to stay on your site and check out what your services or products are. And your site’s main goal should turn your visitors into paying customers. 

This means that a good UI design enhances your website’s usability so it directs users to achieve their goals, as well as yours. That’s why you must ensure that the following should be part of your UI design: 

  • Information Architecture: As its name suggests, information architecture refers to the way information is presented so that users can complete their purpose of visiting your site. In a sustainable and accessible manner, your healthcare web content must be organized, structured, and labeled. 
  • Interactive Design: This element refers to how your visitors interact with your website. You can continue using the data from these interactions to enhance your website’s UI based on your users’ interactions. Or you can use it to fix existing problems to cater to your visitors.
  • Visual Design: This is the most known aspect of UI: the visual aesthetic of your web design. It consists of images, colors, fonts, and other elements to make your website appealing. However, your visual design mustn’t compromise your website’s functionality. And it must also be designed according to who your users are because appealing visuals to millennials may not appeal to senior citizens.

2. Don’t Compromise Functionality

As mentioned, your UI should work hand in hand with your site’s functionality. Since your website is about healthcare, its features facilitate the accomplishment of your goal to promote the health and wellbeing of your site’s visitors. 

Whether it’s booking an appointment or buying a healthcare product, visitors should be able to find the necessary features needed to achieve their goals when they visited your site. For instance, an appointment setter must be one of your website’s features if you want to assist your visitors in booking a session with you. 

Another factor that can affect the functionality of your site is the resources you have. For instance, if you’re building a patient engagement platform, you need to identify the tools you’ll need to run a healthcare website that can support these services. You must be ready to explore other technologies to ensure your website’s functionality.

Most importantly, it would help if you carefully considered who your audience is. For example, if your target is pregnant mothers looking for healthcare services, they should expect your website to help them with their pregnancy.

You can better create a functional website if you have an audience persona. That way, you can understand your audience and plan for what features to include in your website.

3. Make Site Navigation Easy

While your focus may be the content of your website, you must ensure that your site is also easy to navigate. In addition, your site shouldn’t frustrate your audience’s experience because of random pop-ups, auto-scrolling, and unnecessary clicks. Hence, the existence of buttons in the right place will help users to navigate your site easily. 

Moreover, your website must have pages that they can quickly go to using bar menus. You may also add drop-down menus so they can easily pick services or products by category. Making them navigate your site without any hassle will help them fulfill their reason for visiting your site quickly. 

4. Make It Responsive To Various Devices

Another factor that can enhance your website’s usability is responsiveness, regardless if visitors are using their computers or mobile devices. Since most consumers nowadays use various devices like mobile phones, tablets, or laptops, your site must be adaptable to different screen sizes. 

When users access your site, it must fit perfectly in their screen sizes. Your pages should also load fast to make their visit a pleasant experience. An unresponsive website that takes too long to process the visitor’s interaction will only discourage them. 

Moreover, it helps to remember that mobile versions might make it hard for mobile users to type in long answers. Hence, consider using clickable options that visitors can easily tap. 

If you’re using images, ensure that they’ll fit accordingly to the screen borders on their devices. Texts also shouldn’t appear too small, making them zoom in too much. Instead, the text should be visible by adapting to the screen size your audience is using.

5. Increase Page Loading Times

Your page should load fast whenever a user clicks on your healthcare website. If not, they’re more likely to find another website offering similar healthcare products or services because they don’t find your site usable. Nowadays, consumers don’t want to wait five minutes for a page to load. The longer a site loads, the more frustrated your potential customers become. 

Ideally, your page must load in less than two seconds. That way, you have the chance to keep them on your site. There are many ways to increase your page loading speed, which includes optimizing your images. For example, scale images to the right size and reduce their file size before uploading them. That way, it won’t slow down your site and will increase your site’s usability instead. 

Conclusion 

A healthcare website’s usability relies on many factors. From UI design to page loading times, all of these must work together to improve your website visitors’ experience. That way, your website can help your visitors achieve what they need when visiting your site. In addition, since the website acts as your online clinic or virtual healthcare facility, you need to ensure that every patient leaves your website satisfied.

How AI Can Assist Sustainability in the Healthcare Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the programming of machines to simulate the complex thinking that, until recently, only humans had been capable of. Of course, the advantages of AI are clear: speeding up processes, recognising more intricate patterns, and dealing with large amounts of data and information. While humans can do this work manually, AI is quickly eating into the monopoly, becoming useful across many sectors, including the healthcare industry.

In a survey of business executives across the healthcare industry, over 50 per cent of respondents believed that AI will be ubiquitous in healthcare by 2025.

The need for AI in healthcare is clear. Healthcare relies on accuracy and intelligence, with complex medicines and quality care needed to treat patients. In this sense, AI is helping to improve the healthcare industry across the board. However, can these automated services also assist pharmaceutical businesses and healthcare providers to be more sustainable? Here we explore how AI is working within the healthcare industry, and how it is helping the environment through reduced waste and energy use.

Precision pharmaceuticals

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, efficiency and precision will factor into drug development and creation time. From prioritising medicines to organising stock, AI is helping to make processes more precise, saving time, money, and energy.

AI is able to automate processes, understanding large amounts of patient and health data. This means that drugs can be automatically ordered and prioritised based on urgency while sharing complex details on precise treatment needs. Robotics and other automated technology may even be able to procure elements of a treatment for pharmacists.

In terms of sustainability, the saving can be seen in energy and time. The lower energy consumption of AI services, as opposed to human labour, is also good news for the environment. Lower energy use links directly to a lower environmental impact from electricity generation.

This automation can also help pharmaceutical businesses to be more hygienic. Alongside quality workwear clothing for healthcare workers, sanitary PPE, and limiting human contact, AI can automate processes that may have required human labour. These automated processes reduce human action, and the waste involved with ensuring environments are clean for healthcare standards.

Drug development

For drug development, large data sets and clinical trials are used. Patterns must be recognised among this data and research to show symptoms, cures, side effects, and a variety of other impactful features of drug development.

AI is useful because its intelligence can quickly point out these patterns and may indicate further assertions that may have been missed by human analysis. AI is slashing the time it would traditionally take to develop a new drug. In 2018, one pharmaceutical company used AI to help identify new treatments for type-2 diabetes. Understanding data and patterns are key to these processes, with technology only aiding the endeavour.

AI helps the environment not only by saving time and energy but through minimisation of work. More intelligent AI systems will be able to understand the compatibility of drugs, the biology of disease, and the effects of medicinal components to automatically create new medicine. In turn, this reduces the amount of waste during experimental processes of drug development. If the AI system can identify failures early on, pharmaceutical waste can be avoided. This prevents material, plastic, and other by-product waste from going to landfill.

Treatment efficiency

With digitised personal health records becoming more prominent in our lives, AI is helping to make our healthcare more efficient. By automating our GP records, appointments, treatments, and recording historic immunisations, AI can identify our needs better than ever before.

If a patient is due for further immunisation or medicine, AI systems will be able to identify when these are needed, should a patient or medical professional fail to do so. Further to this, by comparing your historic health record, AI systems may be able to identify which illnesses you may be prone to. Our biology, genealogy, and past illnesses may make us more likely to have diabetes, cancer, or heart disease for example. AI systems may recognise factors in your health history that could lead to these, predict illnesses before they occur, and recommend measures to treat or avoid them.

In terms of sustainability, of course, our personal health is closely linked to the environment. If AI can encourage us to live healthier lifestyles and can prevent illness, our energy and waste use will be reduced. Medicine is not wasted, health workers labour is reduced, and we live better lives. This, in turn, encourages sustainability within the health care system.

AI will continue to develop and improve, and it will continue to grow its utility within the healthcare industry. As businesses and services providers turn their attention to their environmental obligations, there is no doubt that AI will play an integral role in ensuring that the healthcare industry is more sustainable.

Most Searched for Signs That You’re Due on Your Period

When you’re approaching your period, you’ll most likely be on the lookout for some giveaway signs that it’s coming. For some people, their period arrives like clockwork, and they can predict it with confidence. For others, however, it can sometimes come as a surprise. Because everyone’s body is different, some people find it hard to pinpoint the moment when their period is going to begin.

The regularity of your periods might vary, but from your first period onwards, you will probably start recognising some tell-tale signs but even after years of having periods they can catch you off-guard! It therefore makes sense that people across the UK are Googling the most frequent signs that your period is due.  

Let’s take a look at the most commonly searched terms and find out a little more about the signs that will help you to prep for your period and avoid being surprised!

Period cramps

The most commonly searched sign that your period is due and you’re experiencing pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is period cramps. In 2021, the Google search term ‘how to get rid of period cramps’ is searched on average 8,200 times a month. Cramps, or period pains, are one of the tell-tale signs that your period is on the way. However, they can affect different people at different points in their cycle. According to the NHS, cramps typically start when the bleeding begins. For some, however, the cramps come a few days before the bleeding, signalling that your period will begin soon. 

Although they can be annoying, cramps are a natural part of the menstrual cycle. They are caused by the tightening of the muscular wall of the womb – vigorous contractions of this wall occur during your period to help the womb shed its lining. Typically, these contractions cause painful muscular cramps which can be felt in your tummy, back, and thighs. If your period pains start to inhibit your life you should consult your GP.

Headaches

Another commonly searched for sign that your period is on its way is headaches. There are a few different ways people refer to this symptom, including ‘menstrual migraines’, ‘hormone headaches’ or straight up ‘period headaches’. The term ‘period headaches’ is searched on average 5,067 times per month in the UK, showing that period-related headaches are more common than you might have thought. In fact, more than half of all women who get migraines have noticed a link with their menstrual cycle. According to a former member of the National Migraine Centre, Dr Anne McGregor, menstrual migraines develop due to the natural drop in oestrogen levels that occurs leading up to a period or during the first couple of days of bleeding. Therefore, if you’re experiencing particularly intense headaches, there could be a link with your cycle, and it could be a sign to expect your period.

Bloating

Many people experience bloating during the lead-up to their period, and it’s another highly searched for sign that you’re experiencing PMS. It’s the third most commonly searched symptom in 2021, with a monthly average of 4,400 searches for ‘period bloating’ and 2,400 searches for ‘bloating before period’. Swelling and bloating usually occur during the days leading up to your period, and you can expect it to go away once the bleeding begins. Many people experience a bloated tummy, which can make it feel like you’ve gained weight. Your body is also likely to feel particularly tender during this time, particularly your breasts.

Drinking a lot of water and consuming less caffeine and alcohol have been found to reduce bloating during the lead-up to a period. However, there’s nothing to worry about if your body is feeling bloated, and it should pass within a few days. 

Mood swings

If you encounter emotional changes and heightened anxiousness in the lead-up to your period, you’re not alone! Mood swings are another commonly searched-for sign that your period is on its way. With an average of 720 searches per month for ‘period mood swings’, it’s clear that many people experience fluctuations in their mood on the run-up to, and during, their period. Although this emotional strain can be difficult to cope with, rest assured that it is a common and completely natural symptom. Typical types of mood change that you might encounter include tension, irritability, anger, anxiety, and tearfulness. These moods are likely to be felt more intensely by people with a tendency to feel depressed or anxious. The best thing you can do while experiencing mood swings is to be kind to yourself and if things are intense, speak to your GP. Also try to ensure that you get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and try not to pile pressure on yourself while you wait for these mood fluctuations to pass. 

Cravings

You might have noticed that you develop a particular longing for a certain type of food once a month – this could be yet another giveaway that your period is about to begin. With a monthly average search volume of 677 for ‘period cravings’, it’s clear that you’re not alone if you experience changes in your appetite when your period is around the corner. It’s totally normal to be overcome by cravings for carbs or sugary snacks before your period. There’s even a biological reasoning behind why you want to reach for the chocolate. It has been found that fluctuating hormone levels increase your appetite for carbs and sweet foods before your period. What’s more, these cravings can also be linked to pre-period mood swings. When you eat starchy and sweet foods your body releases serotonin, which can boost your happiness levels. If you’re feeling particularly anxious on the run-up to your period, it makes sense to look for a mood boost in the form of a tasty snack!  

Acne

Finally, there’s period acne – a symptom that is searched for, on average, 590 times a month. There’s so much going on with your hormone levels before and during your period that your skin can also be affected. The drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels directly before your period begins can trigger your sebaceous glands. These glands (which are close to the surface of your skin) create sebum, an oily substance that can cause breakouts and skin inflammation. Although period-related acne typically begins in the lead-up to your period, it doesn’t always go away once it starts. An increase of testosterone towards the end of your period can also trigger your sebaceous glands, potentially causing a second round of period-related acne. 

It can certainly be a pain when your skin flares up during or before your period but know that you’re not alone! Reports state that around 65 per cent of people experience higher levels of acne during their period, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. 

Everyone’s body is totally unique, and your PMS symptoms might be completely different from those of your friends. All you can do is be sure to trust your body in what it needs, allow yourself enough rest and self-care during your period, and do what’s right for you. 

Fitness Apps – where are the UK’s most ‘Digitally Active’ place?

The data also revealed the core aims of the public in searching for fitness apps. Alongside the known branded applications, people also searched for apps to help them with specific activities. The most common of these was ‘running app’, which amassed 6,600 searches per month in the UK.

However, it’s not just exercise apps people were looking to for help with their health. In second place, searches for ‘meditation app’ and ‘sleep app’ each achieved 4,400 searches per month.

There has been a strong focus on mental health during the pandemic. The virus and the isolation of lockdown have caused considerable anxiety among the public. Using your phone to help improve your mental wellbeing and improve your sleep can be just as important as taking care of your physical health.

Other high volume searched apps include ‘walking app’ also with 4,400 searches, ‘step counter app’ with 3,600 searches, and ‘cycling app’ with 2,900 searches.

Of the most populated towns and cities in the UK, Lisburn focussed the most on searching for specific activities. They searched for core activity apps 246 per cent more than the average UK town or city. Meanwhile, Bradford searched for these apps the least, falling 78 per cent below the average UK search scores.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been made easier with the help of our phones and the use of smartwatches. They can track everything, from steps, heart rate, and even our sleeping patterns. The past year has emphasised the need to stay active, and for those looking to start on their fitness journey, your phone may be the best port of call.

How have UK Gyms been affected financially during the Pandemic?

There have been three national lockdowns in England, with similar measures across the UK. Since the first lockdown, the British public has spent approximately eight months under restrictions which closed gyms in 2020 and 2021.

Consequently, it can be estimated that UK gyms have lost £3.1 billion of revenue since the start of the pandemic. With a surge in membership in January, it can be suggested that another £46.6 million is lost by the 1,164,000 people who we would have expected to join in January 2021.

These numbers are large sums of money, but since the first lockdown, this equates to £470,000 of lost revenue per fitness club. Equally, the cost of location rent, maintenance staff, and the investment into PPE and COVID-secure gym equipment mean that such losses will be maximised.

Gyms had been closed to protect the health and safety of the general population. However, the lack of physical exercise and the limitations on creating a healthy routine was limited. Gyms are essential for improving our personal health and fitness as restrictions continue to ease.

8 Tips On Choosing An In-Home Care Provider

When it comes to receiving care, your loved ones would love to feel secure and at ease. These days, many families opt for home health care over institutional care to get a safer and more affordable option for their loved ones so they could remain in their own homes and hometowns. With in-home care, they often receive the comfort and expert, empathetic, and individualized care they deserve as human beings and, for the elderly, in the twilight years of their lives.

Availing of an in-home care service can be the key to a better quality of life. Some services offer perks compared to hospitals or retirement homes. Some families choose in-home care services for their loved ones to receive assistive care by skilled nursing professionals who have a passion for service. That said, in this article you’ll learn more about in-home care providers and how to select the best one.

What Are In-Home Care Services?

In-home care is provided for differently abled persons whose needs need to be attended to. Its primary focus is to pay attention to your loved one’s needs and health. Medical care providers render assistance to patients who need medical treatments, and it’s common that such providers are trained professionals—for instance, registered nurses. There are also nonmedical care providers that aim to assist in providing personal care and companionship to their clients.

Home health care services are provided to individuals in the comfort of their homes or wherever they prefer. Depending on the agency or service provider you pick to care for your loved one, their services might range from occasional as-needed visitation to 24/7 service.

A competent agency would work with you to evaluate the type and degree of care you or your loved may require, and in certain cases, they may refer you to another provider when what they offer couldn’t match your requirements.  Your family physician may also need to be engaged in the care plan because they can assist in identifying the care required.

In some instances, agencies may solely provide pediatric care, hospital treatment, or companionship care. Some services only serve a specific area, so they may suggest you to providers closest to your house. Expect to have an in-depth discussion about the type of care that will be delivered and your loved one’s expectations for their care provider.

How To Choose The Best In-Home Care Provider

When your loved ones, particularly the elderly members of your family, begin to seek support and assistance with their daily routines, that might be an opportunity to seek in-home care services to assist them in the comfort of home. Instead of having to uproot them for residential care, with in-home care providers, they could stay and be surrounded by the people whom they love and things they like while receiving care at the same time.

You have plenty of choices and control over which care and support provider you should hire. To give you a head-start, here are some tips for choosing an in-home care service provider for your loved ones:

1. Know Your Needs

Whomever the service is for, you’ll have to keep in mind what’s most important—the needs of the person who needs care and assistance. Before you start looking into the numerous care providers, you need to determine which services your loved one will require.

This step is vital since ‘in-home care services’ is a broad term. Your loved one may need assistance with self-hygiene and household maintenance or they may need extensive help and the skill sets of a healthcare professional. As a result, you should establish a list of what your loved ones need—maybe with the aid of a specialist.

2. Plan Ahead And Do Your Research

Finding a home care provider is often easier said than done. You have a great responsibility in making decisions, especially when your loved ones are concerned. Before you choose any in-home care plans, prepare ahead of time and do your research.

Take advantage of the internet to look for agencies that can match what you’re looking for. You may also ask social workers for a list of care providers near your area. Your family’s general practitioner and pharmacist can also help you by giving some advice regarding this matter. There are a lot of options for you to get information on where to look for care providers.

3. Involve Your Loved One

The importance of fully engaging your loved one who will be receiving assistance cannot be overstated. However, only a few do this despite having the best intentions. Put yourself in their shoes—would you prefer accepting assistance where you have no say in the matter? Aside from that, ask them and talk with them about the care they need. It might be best not to make decisions on your own.

4. Review The Company’s Credentials And Mission Statement

When researching for a home health care provider, read the agency’s mission statement to understand what the service provider believes in and what their objective are for each customer.  When selecting a service provider, consider asking them the following questions:

  • How long have they been in the service?
  • How do they evaluate the client’s health care needs?
  • How do they recruit and train their staff member?
  • Do they assign a supervisor to ensure they provide quality care to their clients?
  • What can you expect from their staff and care providers?
  • How do they handle emergencies? Do they have a plan in case of emergencies?

You should look for feedback and testimonials from their previous clients when you’re reviewing their websites. Other clients’ experiences may be elaborated in there, and you may also see how they’re perceived throughout the community.

5. Know Their Staff Recruitment And Training For Different Patient Conditions

Find out how your chosen agency checks and verifies their prospective employees’ backgrounds and what qualifications they require for candidates. Some companies seem to only function as an introduction agency rather than backing and taking any responsibility for their employees. 

Inquire about how employees are trained. Do they get specialized training in medication administration or first aid response in such cases as heart attacks, epileptic seizures, or strokes? Do they receive a good combination of theory and practice? How are they evaluated for their competence before beginning employment and in the future? Do they get frequent help and supervision?

There are plenty of reasons why it’s critical to think carefully about your options when hiring and selecting an in-home care provider. Their first impressions of the agency are formed by how they were employed and taught, and this will influence how they feel about it in the long run and how efficient they are at providing care to your loved one.

6. Speak With The Care Providers

After you’ve done your research on a certain agency, consider speaking with their staff. Through this, you can directly ask anything you want to know about their operations. Check to see whether they’re informed, attentive, competent, and genuinely engaged in learning about your loved one’s needs as you converse with them. Aside from that, inquire about how they evaluate a client’s situation and create plans. If you believe they’re capable and competent to care for your loved one, then that would be the time to acquire their services.

7. Know How They Can Be Contacted Any Time Of Day

A lot of things can happen any day. If you were to pick this particular agency, make sure they can be easily contacted at all times. Check to see if they have 24-hour on-call assistance or a well-established line in the event of an emergency.

Their health care professionals should be able to assist in your loved one’s needs, mainly since your their condition may change over time. An on-call expert should be accessible at all times, but an alternative would be to have their in-home care service living with your loved ones at home. 

8. Check If They Provide Quality Assurance Checks

When you think you’re settling for a particular care provider, make sure you don’t forget the following considerations:

  • Do they have strict systems in place to check the quality of the service given on a regular basis?
  • Do they contact the customer early on to ensure that the care is adequate? 
  • Are they willing to engage with and collaborate with your physician or other health care professionals? 
  • Do they keep track of significant events and occurrences and measure the results for the client? 
  • Do they check in with support employees on a frequent basis to ensure the client’s well-being? 
  • Do they do unscheduled and surprise inspections on their employees? 
  • How frequently do care plans get reviewed and updated? 

Final Thoughts

An in-home health care service might be the perfect solution to give your loved one their desired support, particularly if you’ve got the best people for it. Since there seems to be an upward trend for personal care providers, the tips mentioned in this article might help you find the right match. After all, the right amount of care and support can go a long way for you and your loved ones.

Guide to Improving the Quality of Care for People with Disability

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 15% of the world’s adults have a form of disability. A further 2-4% of adults face serious difficulties in functioning. While some people with disabilities have specialized care needs, others do not. But they all have the same general care needs as everyone else.

Unfortunately, various barriers, from high costs to outdated prejudices, result in patients not necessarily receiving the quality of care they deserve. This guide offers practical advice on improving the quality of care for people with disabilities.

Recognize Barriers to Quality Health Care

The first step toward improving health care quality for people with disability is to recognize the barriers they face when seeking good quality health and other medical care. Several of those barriers exist at national, state/provincial, and county levels.

WHO identified the following barriers among others:

1. Physical Barriers

Physical barriers are arguably the most obvious of the obstacles listed by the organization. Examples include parking areas that are difficult or impossible to access, and uneven access to clinics, health centers, and hospitals. Poor signage, medical equipment that’s difficult to access, and unsuitable bathroom facilities are also high on the list.

2. High Costs

The prohibitive costs of healthcare services and transport are one of the greatest barriers to quality healthcare for people with disability in low-income countries. According to WHO, more than half of the world’s people with disabilities cannot afford healthcare. By comparison, approximately one third of people without disability can’t afford healthcare in their respective countries.

3. Lack of Health Care Worker Training

The lack of training health workers to care for people with disability means those workers are inadequately skilled. This reflects in WHO’s findings that disabled people were four times more likely to report mistreatment, three times more likely to report that they were denied healthcare, and twice as likely to report inadequately skilled healthcare providers.

Improving Care Quality

Recognizing barriers offers us a starting point for improving the quality of care for people with disabilities. Some of those barriers will require changes to national and state policy, or decisions made by boards or managing directors. Individual workers and families or primary caregivers of disabled people at home can implement the others. Let’s explore this.

1. Check Your Mindset

Stanford Department of Emergency Medicine physician Cori Poffenberger, MD, said that improving care quality for people with disabilities requires us to consider our mindset. If you stick to the medical model of disability, you see those people as in need of “fixing” by means of medical intervention. If you follow the social model, you see disability itself as something created by society. For example, a deaf person’s ability to function isn’t impaired within the deaf community. That person only experiences disability when they interact with people who can hear.

According to Poffenberger, whose daughter Eliza has spina bifida, you can improve care by thinking of ways that you can alter processes and systems to encourage independence and function for disabled people. Rather than trying to force those people to fit the structure, caregivers, health care institutions and other parties need to change the structure to accommodate them.

2. Ask for Input

Too often people with disabilities get excluded from discussions between healthcare workers, caregivers, and family members about their care. Poffenberger explained that this is improved by addressing the patient before speaking to families and caregivers. Healthcare professionals should ask the person how they would like the history and exam conducted, and about their medical care goals. Take people with disabilities seriously and actively include them in discussions and decisions regarding their healthcare.

3. Use Language Carefully

Whether friends, family, caregivers, doctors, healthcare workers, we should be conscious of the language they use around disability. Poffenberger wrote that rather than objectifying people with disability positively or negatively, your choice of words should make them feel valued.

Using her own daughter as an example, Poffenberger stated that Eliza, who is neither an inspiration nor a burden, has spina bifida, rather than suffers from the disability. She also stated that, rather than using a “handicapped” restroom, Eliza uses an accessible restroom, and that her twin brother is the child without a disability, rather than the “normal” one.

4. Consider Accessibility

If caring for a person with a disability at home, consider accessibility in every area based on their mobility requirements. For those using crutches, a walker, or even a heavy duty wheelchair, the ability to move around with ease is crucial. This extends from simply maneuvering from room to room to accessing facilities and essentials that make day to day living comfortable.

Check that the height of counters, basins, sinks, shelving, cupboards, appliances, toilets, bathtubs, showers, medical supplies, and other items are appropriately accessible.

With some disabilities, it may not be appropriate to put medication, potentially dangerous appliances and tools, and other items in easy reach. In those circumstances, secure storage is essential.

5. Go for Training

WHO identified a lack of skill and knowledge as one of the barriers to quality care for people with disabilities. Anyone who cares for a person with disability should receive at least basic training that’s appropriate for the relevant disability.

6. Exercise Daily

Caring for people with disabilities isn’t limited to medical issues. The approach should be holistic, and part of that is regular physical exercise, which can support fitness, body function, and mental health. Whatever a person’s disability, there is a form of exercise that is appropriate. For some, it may be walking, water aerobics, or tai chi, and for others, it may be easy housework or gardening. Encourage them to exercise regularly.

7. Provide Proper Nutrition

Processed foods and foods packed with additives and artificial sweeteners are nutritionally sparse and they can negatively affect mind and mood. If you plan and prepare meals for people with disabilities, increase nutrient-dense foods and eliminate or decrease as many processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and additives as possible. Support their health with proper nutrition, remembering that some people’s bodies do not react well to dairy, gluten, or other foods.

Make a Start

This guide to help improve the quality of care for people with disability is nowhere near exhaustive. Instead, it offers a starting point and a few practical tips for your consideration. As you think about ways to implement them, you may find other methods of enhancing how you care for someone with a disability.

Top Tips to Look After Your Dental Health as You Age

As you start to get older, it is completely normal that your body will undergo changes that affect your hair, your skin, your muscles and bones, and, most importantly, your teeth. Not only can these changes to your teeth make you look your age and make you lose confidence in your appearance, but you might also start to find that you develop dental health issues over time. To make sure that your dental health is good throughout your retirement, read on for more information.

 

Visit Your Dentist

Many people ignore the signs and symptoms of an underlying dental health condition for as long as possible, either out of fear or to check whether these symptoms are going to vanish of their own accord. However, when you start to notice problems with your teeth, it is paramount that you visit the dentist immediately, even if you have a phobia of the dentist’s surgery. Not only this, but if you are unhappy with an aspect of your aging teeth, such as discoloration or chips, you should think about seeking treatment to make you feel comfortable with your smile. You should find a Winnetka dentist who can give you the aesthetic treatments that you need to maintain a beautiful smile for longer.

 

Eat Healthy Foods

When you get older, it becomes more important than ever to eat healthy foods, as these can help to ward off life-threatening medical issues and can also allow you to maintain physical and cognitive energy for longer. However, healthy foods can also help you to prevent issues with your teeth. To look after your teeth, you should avoid acidic foods such as citrus and drinks that could stain your teeth, such as wine and coffee. You should also try to avoid salt as much as possible. Instead, you should look at eating naturally crunchy foods which can clean the bacteria away, such as cheese and broccoli, and consider drinking green tea or eating foods that contain a small amount of fluoride.

 

Look After Your Body

It is never too late to start looking after your body. For instance, you should make sure that you can maintain good personal hygiene to prevent infections and consider taking supplements to keep your hair, nails, and skin healthy and strong. However, looking after your body is especially important in terms of your teeth, which need dedicated care every day. As a senior, you should make sure that you brush your teeth for two minutes a day with fluoride toothpaste and that you floss or use a dental brush to clean between your teeth once a day. You should try to avoid overbrushing your teeth, though, as this can lead to the removal of enamel from your teeth, as well as receding gums.

 

Quit Bad Habits

Bad habits such as smoking and drinking an excessive amount of alcohol are bad for you in more ways than one. Not only can smoking increase your risk of lung cancer, and alcohol increases your chance of liver disease, but bad habits can also affect your skin and your teeth. Smoking can lead to more bacteria gaining a footing in your mouth and can kill off the good bacteria. This can lead to you having an increased chance of tooth decay, which in turn, can lead to loose teeth. Then, you should try to quit these bad habits. For instance, you should consider joining a quit smoking scheme or use a nicotine substitute.

 

Check for Signs of Health Issues

As you get older, you need to make sure that you are regularly checking your body for signs of potential health issues. Many of the health issues that you can develop as you age can be prevented from getting worse by being caught early. For instance, in terms of your dental health, you should check your teeth for signs of staining or brown plaque on your teeth, as well as receding gums, and make sure that you seek help if your teeth start to become more sensitive or if you are in pain, especially if this pain occurs when you bite down on food or drink water.

 

Be Aware of Medications

Although medication is usually given to you to restore your health and to help you to manage serious health conditions, medications can also give you a host of negative side effects, which can make your life difficult. For instance, some medications are known for causing dry mouth. This dry mouth can leave your teeth at risk of decay as food will be left in your mouth after eating, and acids will erase the enamel on your teeth without anything to wash them away and clean your teeth in the process.

 

Avoid Over the Counter Products

For minor health issues, many people decide that they do not need the help of a professional and decide that they will treat their health condition themselves by buying over-the-counter products. Although these over-the-counter products can be effective, they can also have some harmful effects if they are not recommended by a professional first. For instance, many people decide that they are going to whiten their teeth using over-the-counter whitening products. However, these can cause damage to your teeth by removing their enamel. Therefore, you should always research the over-the-counter products that you buy well or consider getting prescriptions or treatment from your medical or dental professional instead.

Can Gut Microbiomes Tell How Well You Age?

Your body is made up of many components that you may not be fully aware of. One crucial aspect of physical health is your gut. It’s responsible for many functions in your body and may be the key for you to remain young and healthy.  

If you’re not too familiar with gut microbiomes and what they do, here’s some information to help you know more.  

 

What Are Gut Microbiomes?  

Your gut microbiomes refer to the totality of microorganisms found in your gastrointestinal tract (GIT). There are trillions of various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa inside your body that play a crucial role in your health. In fact, your first contact with microbes starts the moment you were born. As you get older, your gut composition will diversify and change, which can affect your overall physical condition.

The status of your gut health can contribute to how well your immune system functions and how well your digestive system converts food into energy. It may also affect your central nervous system, which is responsible for your brain function.  

Therefore, you must take the time to pay attention to your gut and ensure that you have enough good microorganisms inside your body. However, you can’t accurately analyze the makeup of your gut’s ecosystem without getting it professionally tested. You need a DNA test kit, like the ones from My Psomagen, to identify which microorganisms reside in your digestive system.  

Why Should You Test Your Gut?  

Depending on how you take care of your body, the types of bacteria inside your intestines can change. Your eating lifestyle or stress can affect the composition of your gut, which will eventually influence other aspects of your health. For instance, there’s a chance you may develop a condition called gut dysbiosis, which is an uneven occurrence of good and bad bacteria in your GIT if you neglect the microorganisms inside your body. This can lead to sudden weight gain and affect your physical well-being and your mental state.  

Thus, you must regularly check if your gut is in good shape. Knowing the current state of your digestive system’s ecosystem may also give you an idea of how your body will adapt to changes in the long run.  

 

Gut Microbiomes And Aging

If you want to remain youthful and age gracefully, then you shouldn’t ignore the importance of your gut health. Everyone’s body composition is different, so the impact of the microbiomes in your body as you age will be different from other people. But a recent study suggests that a person with an actively changing microbiome is more likely to live a longer life and stay healthy as they age than those with a stagnant gut composition.  

It’s more common for older people to develop certain illnesses than individuals in their prime years. This is because medications, pre-existing health conditions, and the natural effects of aging can compromise a person’s health. However, it’s possible to guard yourself against various medical complications that can make you feel like you’re aging too fast.  

Since your digestive track’s condition contributes to how other parts of your body function, it can significantly influence the efficiency of your organs. For instance, as you get older, your metabolism will start to slow down and may cause you to go over your ideal body weight, especially if you don’t pay attention to what you eat and have little to no physical activity. This is because your body won’t burn calories as well as you did during your earlier years. As a result, you may look years older than your actual age and experience other illnesses that aren’t usually associated with young individuals.  

On the other hand, if you maintain your gut’s health, it’s possible to keep aging problems at bay. For one, nourishing the microbiome that resides in your intestines may help keep your immune system in good condition. This means that your body will know how to respond if there are threats to your system. Thus, nourishing your gut and ensuring that you have a healthy microbiome composition is essential in battling the natural signs of growing old.

 

How To Take Care Of Your Gut  

If you want to ensure that you’ll be in good health even as you age, you should take time to take care of your gut.

Here are some tips you can follow to keep your microbiome healthy.

  • Eat Prebiotic Foods: Eating foods rich in prebiotics can help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your GIT. Bananas, apples, and oatmeal are some products you can incorporate into your diet to nourish good bacteria.
  • Consume A Diverse Range Of Foods: If you don’t have any food restrictions, aim to fill your plate each meal with products from all food groups. This means that you need to consume vegetables, protein, and healthy carbohydrates. 
  • Take A Probiotic Supplement: Although the best way to maintain the balance in your microbiome is to eat healthily, not everyone can eat enough meals daily to meet their nutritional needs. Some people find it difficult to eat too many foods just to ensure that their gut is getting enough nutrients.

 

As you age, you’ll also notice that you won’t eat as much as you did when you were younger since your metabolism isn’t the same as before. If this is the case, it’s better to take a probiotic supplement to keep your gut healthy, especially when you know that it’ll be more convenient than eating too many meals. Probiotics are live bacteria that can restore the amount of healthy bacteria in your microbiome.

 

  • Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: Consuming artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may stimulate the growth of bacteria, like Enterobacteriaceae, that are bad for your gut. If you can choose to go sweetener-free on drinks or foods, do so. Also, try to limit your sugar consumption since this may also increase your blood sugar and negatively affect your microbiome.

 

Final Thoughts  

Aging is something that you can’t stop. However, if you prioritize your health, you won’t have to suffer from the adverse effects of old age. Keeping your gut healthy can be your key to staying youthful. This is because a healthy gut can help keep other systems in your body in good shape and may help prevent the risk of getting sick.  

7 Tips To Help You Sail Through Physical Rehabilitation

Injuries, serious health conditions, and old age could take a heavy toll on your body. Oftentimes, you’d need physical rehabilitation to get back on your feet and regain your physical functions. A sound physical treatment plan would depend on the severity and type of injuries sustained by a person. Mobility, medical condition, and the specific needs of the patient are also taken into consideration.

 Physical rehabilitation is time-consuming and entails a lot of patience. Not everyone’s expected to sail through the process without strong motivation and medical guidance. Put simply, a majority of the therapies’ success would depend on the patient and the healthcare professional.   

However, there are certain ways to help you increase your chances of successfully regaining muscle strength and mobility in a fast and safe manner. Here are some of them. 

 

1. Choose Healthcare Practitioners Who Can Help You

There are a number of healthcare professionals who could help you, depending on your case. You may need to shop around for the best practitioners to help you, or you can ask your friends for referrals. More than the qualifications, you’d need someone you can trust and feel comfortable working with as physical rehabilitation treatments could take months, sometimes years.

The key to finding the right physical rehabilitation service provider is to know what each practitioner does. Your point of reference would likely be your surgeon or physician.

Generally speaking, people who are injured and need rehabilitation turn to physiotherapists, occupational therapists (OTs), and spine specialists such as those found on Eastidspine.com and similar sites, as well as chiropractors. These professionals aim to help you with your physical challenges and limitations using non-surgical methods.

Here’s a look at how each healthcare practitioner works to help patients who need physical rehabilitation and how they could help with your physical injury treatment and pain management.  

 

  • Spine Specialists

Spine specialists focus on the treatment of spine, vertebral column, or backbone problems, including the nervous system and nearby sections of the body. Spine specialists may be any of the physicians with specialization in spine conditions or other healthcare professionals such as OTs, physical therapists (PTs), and chiropractors. Depending on the type of injury you have, as well as its severity and symptoms, you may need to seek the help of one or a few of these experts.  

 

  • Physical Therapists 

PTs are trained to assess and treat irregular physical functions caused by injuries, disabilities, or certain diseases. PTs or physiotherapists are also experienced in rehabilitating abnormal functions and mobility problems, as well as restoring or improving physical activities.  

There are various work settings that need the presence of licensed physiotherapists. These include hospitals, clinics, schools, sports teams, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.

Like physicians, they’re involved in the diagnosis of problems with mobility and functioning. After pinpointing what could be wrong, these professionals would create a treatment plan aimed at addressing the problem. This often includes home care interventions such as stretching and gentle exercises.   

 

  • Occupational Therapists

OTs are different from PTs in that they focus on creating a more appropriate environment for injured persons and individuals with disabilities, whether physical or otherwise.

Most of them work with injured persons or people with disabilities and their families to perform basic and daily activities, as well as other developmental goals. Besides designing interventions for persons with challenges in physical movements, OTs are often seen developing plans for children, adults, and the elderly who have musculoskeletal, neurological, and other limitations.  

These professionals will also be involved in evaluating the patient’s progress. And if a treatment design isn’t working as expected, they may need to change some components of the treatment.     

 

  • Chiropractors

These professionals are classified as practitioners of alternative medicine, but they’re licensed and trained experts, too. Before practicing, a chiropractor has to attain a bachelor’s degree before being admitted to a chiropractic school, where they earn their title as a doctor of chiropractic studies. They’re, however, not considered medical doctors.   

Chiropractors spend up to four years getting their title while studying the complex relationship between the spine and the nervous system, including the bones, nerves, and ligaments. As such, they may also be called spine specialists as they help patients regain the integrity of the spine and improve a patient’s pinched spinal and neurological tissues.  

After evaluating the patient, chiropractors also design a treatment plan, which, apart from stretches and gentle movements, may include dietary recommendations to the patient. Being a complementary medicine practitioner, they may include acupuncture and massage as adjunct therapies, or referrals to doctors, as necessary.    

People with back pains, neck problems, sports or accident injuries, and arthritis often turn to chiropractors for additional help. Other problems referred to chiropractors may include pain in the arms and legs, muscle pains, as well as headaches.

 

Which Type Of Professional Could Help You With Your Injuries?

The type of injury you have and your specific goals are the main considerations in choosing the best healthcare practitioner for you. It helps to ask guidance from your doctor, if you’re still planning to choose one.

Most often, each professional is needed in different stages of rehabilitative or restorative care. For instance, if you’ve had a sports injury and had been operated on, your doctor would likely refer you to a PT or a chiropractor, depending on the type of injuries and body sections involved.   

Once you’re undergoing rehabilitative care, you and your family may visit an OT to help you recover more swiftly. In severe injuries with low chances of full recovery, a doctor may even refer the patient to a mental health expert to help with psychological therapy.    

 

2. Take Your Medical Records  

After getting the green light from your doctor or after deciding for yourself who among the healthcare professionals you’re going to visit first, make sure you bring your medical record, especially if you’ve just had surgery due to severe injuries.

Show the practitioner your laboratory results, doctor’s diagnosis and prognosis, prescriptions, and imaging results, such as those from your X-ray, computed tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging. Try to be clear in conveying your problems and physical pain triggers. Doing this could help the physiotherapist, chiropractor, or OT to evaluate your case and pinpoint your problem areas with more precision. Ultimately, it could help them develop a treatment plan that’s most suited for you.

 

3. Prepare For Your First Consultation Appropriately

Chiropractors and physiotherapists may need to perform physical manipulations as part of their evaluation. To assess your mobility and function, as well as form, you may be asked to lay on your side, walk or jog, hop, or perform any other physical tests to know the problematic areas. They may also ask you to perform specific home exercises while you’re in the clinic, just to make sure you’re able to perform the stretching and mild movements included in the treatment plan.     

In anticipation of these activities, you would need to wear comfortable shoes and not your work boots. You don’t want to skip this tip even if you’re planning to avail of telemedicine solutions for physical therapy and pain management.  

 

4. Know What To Expect  

The licensed professional would normally start with an evaluation and diagnosis by observing the patient. Further laboratory examinations or imaging tests may also be needed.   

Besides the physical assessment, where the motor skills, mobility, and range of motion movements are checked by the healthcare practitioner, there are other potential movements and test therapies that you may be asked to do while at the clinic.

To test how you may fare with the proposed treatment, doctors could perform other therapy dry runs, like mobility training, where you’d be asked to learn how to use movement aids such as a wheelchair or cane. This is to allow them to see how these movement aids may be useful as you try to regain your ability to walk. In other cases, especially in trying to improve your functions, the doctor may restrain your uninjured limbs while asking you to slowly move your injured limbs.

 

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Most patients are too shy to ask questions or are simply waiting for their doctors to read their minds and body language. But this shouldn’t be the case as physical rehabilitation lies in your hands, too.

If you feel like asking any question, try to do it while you’re still in the clinic or consulting with your doctor online. Take the opportunity to discuss things about the injury. For instance, you may talk about the areas in which you feel pain, the treatment length, and the purpose of each element of the proposed treatment plan. Remember, these professionals are generally busy people and see many patients on a daily basis. So discuss whatever you need to discuss with them, but try to take it easy and avoid confusion.    

In addition, share your objectives with your therapist so they could help you achieve them. For instance, if an accident left you in a bad shape and you can’t walk without an aid, you may tell your healthcare provider you want to get rid of the cane in, say, one month. While this goal may depend upon a few factors, knowing you have a target may help them tailor your rehabilitation plan based on these (doable) goals.

 

6. Diligently Follow Your Home Treatment Plan

Experts normally recommend that an injured individual stay mobile to prevent further accidents and other problems related to inactivity. Treatment plans designed by physical and occupational therapists will likely include in-home activities and exercises.

A huge part of your treatment’s success would depend on how good you are at following in-home instructions. So try to follow their suggestions by heart. For instance, if your therapist asks you to get rid of eggs as part of your recovery diet, try to do it without fail.  

For pain management, it would help to know how else you could avoid taking opioid-based pain medications. Some swear by the efficacy of certain methods such as acupuncture and massage, as well as taking herbal teas.

 

7. Learn How To Perform Exercises While Injured     

Muscle atrophy is one of the worst things that could happen to a severely injured person. This condition occurs when long periods of inactivity force one’s muscles to shrink. Thus, persons with limited mobility are encouraged to perform gentle movements on a regular basis.   

There are exercises that may be done based on the type of injury you have. However, care should always be taken in performing these activities. Remember not to push yourself too much to avoid getting reinjured. The following are the exercises you may perform:

  • For back pain and other problems: Walking, climbing stairs, biking, as well as performing squats and lunges could work best for persons with these problems. However, it’s important to make sure these are performed correctly.For knee injuries: Perform gentle movements that keep your hips and ankles moving. Or you may consider yoga and tai chi.
  • For neck injuries: If you feel better, try swimming and yoga, as well as other movements that could help improve your posture and strengthen your shoulders. Try to maintain proper posture at all times. Avoid looking down while reading messages on your smartphone or leaning close to your computer.
  • For shoulder injuries: If you’re suffering from rotator cuff or other types of shoulder problems, you could use the treadmill, ride an exercise bike, or jog around the park.   

 

Things To Do Before Performing Exercises 

  • Ask Your Doctor Or Therapist For Green Light

Not all injury treatment plans may include performing physical exercises at home. To avoid accidents and injuries caused by inactivity, however, you may take it upon yourself to perform stretching activities or other gentle movements. But remember to do it only after discussing with your healthcare provider.

 

  • Take It Easy

Some people may be under the (false) impression that pushing oneself to the limit means they’re going to get better faster. However, this may not be true. By performing more intense exercises or doing more repetitions, you could be exposing yourself to a new problem or reinjury.    

 

  • Focus On Low-Impact Exercises

You don’t have to perform squats and lunges right away, especially if you have knee problems. It’s better to stick to gentle exercises such as yoga, tai chi, water aerobics, walking, or biking.

You may try performing specific movements, but try to tone it down and stop when you feel intense pain. It’s important to perform stretches beforehand to make sure your body is prepared and also help avoid pain due to knotted muscles. Don’t forget to do the same after you’re done moving.  

 

  • Always Check Your Exercise Form

If your therapist didn’t require you to perform specific exercises while at the clinic and you’re not a gym buff, you don’t have to worry. You may check reliable online videos to know how your body should look like when performing specific exercise movements. You’d likely increase your risk of injuring yourself if you don’t perform the exercises properly.

 

  • Variety Is Key

Cross-training is one of the best ways to avoid reinjuring yourself. Switching your exercise routine may help to prevent your muscles from getting overworked or your joint from getting sprained. For instance, you could take a walk on Mondays, ride your bike on Tuesdays, have Wednesdays as your yoga day, and make Thursdays your Pilates day. You may then rearrange these activities for the next and following weeks.      

 

Final Thoughts

Recovering from physical injuries may take a long time, but you and your healthcare professional could work together in accelerating your recuperation process. Thus, it’s important to maintain open communication and identify which treatments work and don’t work.      

To monitor the progress of your physical rehabilitation efforts, consider keeping a diary where you could jot down important milestones or other small wins. This may help you stay motivated and positive.    

A Buyer’s Guide In Finding The Best Nootropics

Nootropics is a term referring to the supplements that serve as the body’s brain food. Due to their potential to enhance the brain’s overall function, such health supplements have become popular today. Whether you’re going for more chemical or natural options, the primary goal is the same—boost brain function.

Purchasing the best nootropics is a process similar to purchasing supplements for your supply. Therefore, careful research must be conducted when choosing which nootropics to buy. Fortunately, due to recent technological advancements, there are various nootropics you could buy in today’s market. To find the best nootropics, make sure to read this buyer’s guide.

 

Do Your Research

Because of its popularity, you’ll find a lot of studies concerning nootropics online. By scouring the internet, you’ll have access to a vast array of information at the tip of your fingers. All you have to do is to look for as many pages and resources as to read from.

The reason why researching about nootropics is essential is the fact that you might end up confused with the numerous options available in the market. But more than that, if you don’t choose wisely, you might end up suffering from the unpleasant and oftentimes fatal side effects from subpar products. If you don’t want to waste your time, money, and health on the wrong supplements, spend a little more time researching about them to make a well-informed decision in the long run.

 

Never Hesitate To Ask For Suggestions Or Recommendations

Since nootropics are now big in business due to their benefits, it’s possible that you have family and friends who also take these supplements. If so, ask them for suggestions or recommendations about the nootropics you can take.

Once you ask them, ensure to ask about their health conditions to determine if you have the same condition. That way, you can be sure that the nootropics you’re taking might give you possible health benefits.

You could also ask other people, particularly the ones who work in the medical industry. They might give you some tips or helpful advice regarding the nootropics that may be suited for you.

 

Have Your Health Assessed By Doctors

When someone claims that a certain type of nootropics is the most effective one, it’s best to follow what experts say. You have to keep in mind that people have different health requirements. Before jumping on the nootropics bandwagon, have your overall health condition assessed by medical professionals first. This is because the right nootropics for you will depend on this factor.

For instance, if you require something to improve your decision-making, flow, focus, and thinking, you might want to consider Lion’s Mane Mushroom, B-Complex, and L-Carnitine. If you’re dealing with depression and anxiety, the nootropics suited for you should contain CDP-Choline, Lithium Orotate, and Aniracetam.

Other than asking your doctor what your health requirements are, you may also ask them for recommendations which nootropics are best suited for you and where you can buy them.

 

Check Local Supermarkets And Pharmacies

Nootropics can be found almost anywhere. If you’re in a local supermarket or pharmacy, don’t be surprised that you’ll find boxes filled with nootropics. What you should do is to take your pick as to which components are suited for your health needs.

For supermarkets and pharmacies with websites, you can check their stocks which nootropics they sell. If you opt for a pharmacy, you can ask licensed pharmacists for advice. Oftentimes, such pharmacists are also trained to provide the necessary information regarding the supplements you take.

However, if you want to be on the safe side, it’s always wise to ask for help from your physician. If you can’t meet your physician personally because of an injury or illness, you can switch to digital healthcare to get sound advice while in the comforts of your own home.

 

Keep Your Preferences And Goals In Mind

After getting advice from healthcare professionals, the last thing you should remember is to purchase supplements that are related to your health needs and something that you personally prefer. As you already know, your needs and preferences are different from other people and you have unique goals as well. No one health plan is the same, so it’s up to you to talk with your physician to devise a plan especially made for you.

 

Read Reviews And Compare Nootropics Wisely

Since there are countless nootropics available in today’s market, it’s normal to be confused with the selection process. One of the first things that you should do is to read verified customer reviews from various websites. 

When reading reviews, don’t just focus on the advantages. If possible, focus on the side effects customers may have experienced when taking certain types of nootropics. The reason behind it is that not all nootropics have the same good and bad sides. 

There are instances where some nootropics have more side effects than potential benefits. Therefore, making sure the pros outweigh the cons of your preferred nootropics might just save you any potential health issues caused by careless nootropic consumption.

 

Bottom Line

Once you ask around for opinions about nootropics and where to buy them, you’ll get conflicting answers from different people. However, you don’t have to stress yourself about it since these supplements may vary depending on one’s preferences. So make sure to keep this guide so you can choose the nootropics right for you.

How To Handle Medical Malpractice Claims

Emergencies and accidents can happen to anyone due to varying reasons. Being in any type of accident is never easy; aside from physical pain, accidents can also affect a person emotionally, psychologically, and financially.

While the most common types of accidents include car crashes, personal injuries, and workplace accidents, medical malpractice cases are some of them. Medical malpractice primarily occurs when a healthcare provider or medical practitioners—including doctors, nurses, physicians, and other registered health professionals—cause an injury to a patient through negligence or an act of omission.

It can also be through a doctor’s negligence to provide suitable treatments, withhold appropriate medical action, or administer inadequate medical treatment that may harm, injure, or cause the patient’s death.

 

What You Can Do In Case Of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can be a harrowing, traumatizing event to those who suffered such an accident. In some cases, people may have lost faith in the healthcare system due to what they’ve gone through. The most common cases of medical malpractice include

 

∙ medication errors

∙ misdiagnosis

∙ birth injuries

∙ anaesthesia errors and surgical errors

 

Fortunately, there are various ways you can do to address its aftereffects.

Social workers or therapists can guide you with your emotional, physical, and psychological recovery. Though these professionals can certainly help you cope, you’ll need to pay for their services. That said, you might be wondering what you can do so the law can grant you the proper assistance to continue with your sessions. Of course, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What are the odds of winning a medical malpractice suit? Where can you find help? and other questions might be running in your mind while finding solutions to your predicament. Stay with this article to know the steps to take in case you or someone you know should suffer through medical malpractice.

 

What Are Medical Malpractice Claims?

Medical malpractice claims, also known as indemnity claims, are legal claims that can be requested by patients after sustaining injuries, disabilities, or any kind of suffering through medical negligence or an act of omission. Apart from the name, this commonly goes with the term ‘compensatory damages.’

Such claims are covered by your state’s medical malpractice law which aims to indemnify and compensate the victim’s party for the injuries they sustained in medical malpractice.

 

Dealing With Medical Malpractice Claims

If you sustained an injury after a medical evaluation, surgery, medical procedure, or treatment by a medical professional or a healthcare provider, the best thing you can do is to seek compensation through medical malpractice claims. Through these claims, you can obtain financial assistance, which covers medical bills, wage loss, and damages for pain and suffering.

 

To help yourself cope with such incidents, you can do the following:

 

1. Find Legal Counsel

Dealing with a medical practice can be daunting, especially if you don’t know what to do. If you suffered from medical malpractice, one of the primary things that you need to is to seek the help of a medical malpractice lawyer.

If you want to file a medical malpractice claim, you should prioritize hiring an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. While there most cases can be handled without the help of a specific lawyer, a medical malpractice case is a different thing.

Law firms that specialize in medical malpractice can significantly help you file your claim, keep you updated with the case, and advance your case in court. Apart from that, they can also assist you with the legal procedures, give you advice on what to do next, and serve as your representative in cases you’re unable to.

 

 

2. Inform The Healthcare Provider

Aside from seeking legal assistance, another thing that you must do is notify the other party about your complaint. In cases of medical malpractice complaints, the other party includes the doctors, nurses, therapists, or any healthcare provider. While you may still be confused with the legal proceedings, you mustn’t forget about this part. Such notices may be beneficial on your part as it may trigger insurance coverage and internal reviews.

Furthermore, informing the concerned parties can help you obtain favorable settlements before even filing for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

 

3. Get A Medical Assessment

No matter how hard it may be, there are rules and procedures that you have to comply with before you file a medical malpractice claim. This may include getting yourself checked and acquiring a medical assessment to prove your case has merit. Particularly, you must have a medical certificate to declare the injuries that you sustained because of a healthcare professional’s actions.

 

Bottom Line

While medical malpractice doesn’t too happen, the least you can do is to file for claims to protect yourself in case of negligence. Through these claims, you can obtain financial assistance and support from the liable party.

When filing for one, you should prioritize informing the liable party and getting a medical certificate. You may also seek legal assistance from medical malpractice lawyers to better help you get through this situation.

5 Reasons To Look After Your Dental Health

Many people ignore the importance of their dental health because they assume it’s not as significant as their physical health. However, neglecting the condition of your mouth may affect the quality of your life in the future. If you encounter serious oral problems, you may end up feeling too much pain. You might even need to spend a lot of money just to receive treatment.  

No matter how busy you may be, you must take the time to pay attention to your dental health. It can give you useful information about your overall condition and play a vital role in your lifestyle.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t forget to look after your oral health:

 

1. Your Oral Health Affects Your Daily Life  

The status of your oral health can directly affect your daily life. If you have a healthy mouth, you won’t need to be conscious every time you eat or drink something or whenever you’re holding a conversation with another person. However, if you’re experiencing discomfort or oral problems, your everyday routine may be a lot more stressful.

Various oral complications can impede your lifestyle before you even know it. For example, an ache on your gums that you keep on ignoring may become too unbearable in an instant and cause you to cancel your schedule for the day. Some dental problems may be unnoticeable at first but eventually, affect your oral health. This is why you must always look after it.  

You shouldn’t miss your dental clinic visits and always follow your dentist’s advice. Practicing good oral hygiene can keep common mouth problems at bay and allow you to live your life without any worries. It would also be better if you go to the same facility every time you encounter a problem. This will allow your dentist to identify the root of your mouth condition more accurately. In most cases, clinics like Durango Dental know most of their clients and keep a record of all the services they provide to each patient.  

 

2. Your Dental Health Can Indicate Other Conditions

Your dental condition can tell a lot about the status of your overall health. Some health problems can be identified by the symptoms that manifest in your mouth. For example, people with diabetes may have a fruity smell that comes out of their breath. This is because the body will burn fat instead of sugar for energy.  

Other forms of illnesses can also start or occur in the mouth. Oral, head, or neck cancer, for instance, shows their symptoms inside your cheeks or gums. If you see white or red spots or observe unexplainable swelling or pain in your face, then you may be at risk of cancer.  

Regularly getting your dental health checked and seeking medical assistance when you experience unusual symptoms in your mouth may help you diagnose other health problems before they become too severe.  

3. Treatments For Oral Problems Can Be Expensive  

Oral health problems aren’t uncommon. Nowadays, many people seek dental attention due to their oral conditions. One usual complaint dentists will get whenever they treat a patient is a toothache. If you suffer from pain in your teeth or gums, you may experience illness and irritability. You’re lucky if the root of your discomfort is just cavity buildup. This is easily treatable and isn’t as serious as other common oral diseases. However, there are times when more severe complications can cause pain or discomfort.  

For example, extreme tooth decay that simple cleaning procedures can’t resolve may require extraction or minor surgery. This can cost a lot more money since the operation will need more medical equipment and medications afterward. The costs for dental treatments may not be affordable for everyone.  

Other dental conditions like gingivitis or periodontitis may require frequent visits to the dentist, which can also be costly. If you don’t have funds for emergency medical visits, you may want to pay attention to your oral health now. Practicing proper oral hygiene and seeking dental advice as soon as possible can help you save money in the long run.  

 

4. It Can Prevent Pain Or Discomfort

Looking after your dental health and ensuring that it’s in good condition can prevent various oral problems that can cause you a lot of pain or discomfort. You won’t have to worry about feeling sudden jolts in your gums or teeth caused by dental illnesses.

Most of the time, the most apparent symptoms of a dental problem are pain, swelling, or discomfort. These can hinder your everyday life and, in extreme cases, may even force you to stay at home and become bedridden until your symptoms subside.

If you don’t want to go through those kinds of situations, you should prioritize your dental health. It would be better for you to regularly schedule appointments with your dentist, especially if you’re undergoing dental treatments.

For example, if you’re wearing braces to fix your teeth, be sure not to miss a visit so you can remove them as soon as possible. Although it would hurt initially, the payoff once you finish your treatment will be worth it. Remember that you’ll have a more difficult time wearing them and may experience pain and discomfort if you always miss your checkups.  

 

5. It Can Help Boost Your Confidence  

It’s undeniable that many people aim to have a nice smile. Having poor dental health can take a toll on your confidence and hinder you from performing simple activities like smiling or talking to other people. If you feel insecure about your teeth and mouth’s condition, you should pay your dentist a visit.  

An expert can help treat the condition that’s bothering you. For instance, you can choose to get

your teeth straightened if you’re conscious about crooked teeth. You may also get advice on problems like overbite or underbite, which may affect your self-confidence and overall health.  

Addressing your complaints regarding the status of your oral health can help bring back your confidence and make you feel happier about your smile. By fixing your oral problems, you’ll eventually improve your overall well-being.

 

Final Thoughts  

You should pay attention to your oral health as much as you value your physical or mental health. It plays a crucial role and can significantly affect the overall condition of your body. It can have a massive impact on your day-to-day life; it can also be related to other health problems you may be experiencing. Visiting a dentist regularly and practicing proper oral hygiene are easy but effective ways to keep your dental health in good shape.

COVID-19 Vaccine Race Boosts Brand Values Across Pharma Giants

COVID-19 vaccine race among giants

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, pharma giants, governments, and multilateral organisations have been pouring billions of dollars’ worth into vaccine development – a journey that has been undertaken at record pace, as the world races to bring the pandemic under control through mass immunisation.

One of the fastest falling brands last year, Pfizer, has reversed its fortunes recording a 6% brand value increase to US$4.0 billion. Its partnership with fellow-German biotech company, BioNTech, has propelled Pfizer to become a household name as it celebrated the achievement of creating the fastest vaccine to go from concept to reality – an achievement accomplished in a mere ten months, a journey that would normally take closer to ten years.

Another forerunner in the vaccine race, partnered with Oxford University, is AstraZeneca, which has recorded a healthy 18% brand value to growth US$3.2 billion. Despite being hailed as another global success story, AstraZeneca has been hitting the headlines recently for the wrong reasons and has been pulled from multiple countries over fears of blood clot risks.

China’s Sinopharm has recorded a 58% brand value increase to US$2.4 billion, simultaneously jumping 3 spots to 11thposition. Sinopharm is making major strides in the global race to produce COVID-19 vaccinations and has since developed a vaccine with a high efficacy rate, which has already been distributed to millions worldwide.

Sanofi (down 7% to US$3.2 billion) and GSK (down 2% to US$3.5 billion) have entered a partnership for vaccine development. As of May 2021, the vaccine is in the second phase of the trial and has demonstrated positive results.  

Alex Haigh, Director, Brand Finance, commented:

“As soon as it became clear that the outbreak of Coronavirus in China might become a global pandemic, the race to develop a vaccine began. Pharma giants have become household names recognised the world over, and there is a direct correlation between the creation of a successful vaccine and brand value growth. Arguably the two most famous vaccine creators – Pfizer and AstraZeneca – have recorded 6% and 18% increases in brand value, respectively.”

Johnson & Johnson retains top spot

Johnson & Johnson has retained its position as the world’s most valuable pharma brand, with a brand value of US$10.8 billion.

Aside from successfully entering the COVID-19 vaccine race – with nearly nine million Americans vaccinated with it as of May 2021 – Johnson & Johnson continues to showcase its position as the world’s largest healthcare company, celebrating several significant achievements over the last year, and ensuring that its approvals and pipeline of approvals remain on track.

2020 was a record year for research and development for Johnson & Johnson, with the brand investing US$12.2 billion, up from US$800 million in 2019. This, paired with over seven billion dollars’ worth of acquisitions, has put the brand in a strong position to continue to grow in the coming year and beyond the pandemic.

Despite recording a marginal 1% drop in brand value, Johnson & Johnson retains a healthy lead over second-placed Roche, with a brand value of US$7.7 billion. In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. According to these criteria, Roche is the world’s strongest pharma brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 74.2 out of 100 and corresponding AA brand strength rating.

Bristol Myers Squibb acquisitions leads to strong growth

Bristol Myers Squibb is the fastest growing brand in the Brand Finance Pharma 25 2021 ranking, its brand value up a staggering 84% to US$4.1 billion, simultaneously jumping from 13th to 5th position.

The brand has been thriving since the successful US$74 billion acquisition of Celgene Corporation at the end of 2019, which formed one of the world’s leading biopharma companies, and the results of this are reflected in the pharma giant’s solid financial results over the previous year. Following the acquisition, it undertook a rebrand, including a new logo and website, to unify the two brands and to reflect the new Bristol Myers Squibb. Bristol Myers Squibb continues to set its sight on expansion and make strides in strengthening its portfolio, recently announcing plans to acquire clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, MyoKardia.

Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation is highest new entrant

There are four new entrants into the Brand Finance Pharma 2021 ranking this year, Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation (brand value US$1.5 billion) in 19th, CSL (brand value US$827 million) in 23rd, Sandoz (brand value US$643 million) in 24th and Yunnan Baiyao (brand value US$621 million) in 25th.

Highest new entrant GPC – one of China’s largest drug makers – has recently entered a partnership with PepsiCo to jointly develop healthy oatmeal products. Furthermore, as one of the top Chinese medicine manufacturers, GPC has been making significant developments by contributing its knowledge of the traditional Chinese medicine – Banlangen – towards controlling the pandemic.

Brand Finance Medical Devices 25

Medtronic growth strategy pays off

Medtronic is the clear leader across the medical devices sector, with a brand value of US$9.3 billion, considerably ahead of second-placed Fresenius (brand value US$5.5 billion). The Minnesota-headquartered brand leads the way for a further 15 US brands in the ranking, which account for nearly three quarters of the total brand value.

Medtronic is the world’s largest medical technology company and now operates from over 350 locations, across more than 150 countries. The repercussions from the pandemic have been mixed for Medtronic. On the one hand, it has been able to continue towards its expansion strategy of acquiring several smaller companies, with seven alone being acquired in 2020.  On the other hand, sales declined sharply as the pandemic significantly reduced the number of medical procedures being undertaken, resulting in a marginal 1% decline in brand value this year.

Alex Haigh, Director, Brand Finance, commented:

“A large part of Medtronic’s business model is acquiring smaller companies into its portfolio. The pandemic turmoil of the previous year has actually fuelled this model and benefitted the brand as it continues to acquire smaller brands that are not as well equipped to ride the wave of the pandemic. These acquisitions, as part of Medtronic’s wider growth strategy, have protected its brand value and would have helped to offset the decline in sales.”

Coloplast up impressive 20%

On average, brands in the Brand Finance Medical Devices 25 2021 ranking have lost 3% of their brand value year-on-year. Bucking the sector trend is Denmark’s Coloplast, recording an impressive 20% brand value increase to US$940 million.

Coloplast has celebrated healthy results, posting strong organic growth across all geographic regions and business areas. Growth in Europe, however, has taken a hit during the pandemic as new patient expansion slows. Coloplast’s strong results are also a consequence of inorganic growth, through the acquisition of Nine Continents Medical, which was completed at the end of last year.

BD is sector’s strongest

With a Brand Strength Index score of 75.2 out of 100 and a AA+ brand strength rating, BD is the world’ strongest medical devices brand. BD prides itself on its holistic approach to CSR. Since 2015, the brand has been striving towards its 2030+ sustainability strategy, driven by the brand’s purpose of ‘advancing the world of health’. This strategy focuses on its contribution to more sustainable healthcare systems, helping to provide healthcare access for all globally, reducing its environmental footprint, and empowering the workforce and communities it operates in.

Brand strength is also a crucial driver of brand value. BD has recorded a 4% brand value uptick to US$4.5 billion. BD played an integral role in COVID-19 testing through the successful launch of the BD Life Sciences–Integrated Diagnostic Solutions team.

Brand Finance Healthcare Services 10

UnitedHealthcare maintains lead

UnitedHealthcare is the most valuable healthcare services brand in the world, despite recording a 4% brand value loss to US$27.3 billion. Providing health care benefits globally, serving individuals and employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare has recorded solid revenue results this year. Thanks to growth within the communities and senior programs, an additional 1.2 million people were served in Medicare and Medicaid advantage, a figure the brand hopes to increase to 1.5 million in 2021.