Month: June 2015

Steps To Very Good Health

Everybody wants to be as healthy as possible but not everyone has the time to do the required amount of exercise to get there. This is one of the reasons that the ten thousand step approach has become well-liked. The ten thousand step method is an idea that says all you need to try and do to increase your health is to walk at least ten thousand steps every day–this way you won’t have to work out as intensely at the gym. Walking can be great physical exercise and very low impact. How often have you heard a physician say “just a single walk around the block helps your health”?

Obviously walking ten thousand steps every single day is not going to be simple. That’s a huge amount of steps to take! The good news is that you’re already likely taking ten thousand steps everyday without realizing it. What you need to do is figure out how to incorporate a few more thousand steps to get to the objective. So how can you do that without feeling just like you’re wasting an entire day walking about?

Increasing your current step count can be achieved easily using these obvious methods. One typical example of this is climbing the stairs instead of taking an elevator or escalator. You may also elect to park far from the front door of the store or the mall. Keep your car in one spot and walk your bags and boxes out to the car after you finish shopping in each store instead of just carrying more and more things with you as you run your errands and go shopping. Taking public transit can also increase your step count as you need to walk to your bus or train stop and then back home instead of just walking to your car. The greatest way to do it, of course, would be to just take a short walk each day.

You could also boost the volume of steps you take by using some less than apparent methods. Set up a grocery store shopping list differently. Plenty of people plan lists by the aisles in their preferred stores. Instead, plan your list into unique categories like produce, dairy and meat. Then go shopping as outlined by the order on the list. Sure you may end up running back and forth through the store nonetheless it’s great for taking more steps every day. Instead of getting a mail box inside your door or attached to your house, install it on a post near to the curb. This can easily add a minimum of one or two dozen steps to your count when you check the mail every day.

There are lots of ways to take additional steps everyday. The more used to thinking about 10,000 steps you get the easier it will likely be for you to figure out how to meet your goal. Thankfully, each and every step you take–whether it’s walking toward the refrigerator or jogging on a treadmill, counts toward your end step count goal. Have fun with it!

How Hugging Improves Health

Growing up, I always looked forward to visiting my grandma. She had a way of making me feel so loved. I could expect when I’d get there, she would have my favorite board games out, the Care Bear movies ready to be watched, and a jar of sugar cookies just waiting to be eaten; but the thing I most anxiously anticipated was her great, big bear hug. I would get to Grandma’s house, she would greet me at the door and then she would embrace me and make me feel like I was in a cocoon. Her arms would wrap around my back, my head would lay in the perfect spot between her chest and shoulder and she would hold me tight like she wanted to make sure I knew she had nothing else to do but love me all day long. Receiving hugs is one of the most underutilized, therapeutic treatments today. Unfortunately, the average person gets less than one hug per day. This is not healthy, but perhaps if we all strive to individually up our dosage of hugs, we can change our anti-touch society into a more caring and accepting culture.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, receiving or giving as few as four hugs per day can serve as an antidote for depression. Eight hugs a day may lead to achieving mental stability and twelve hugs per day could lead to real psychological growth. Can you remember the last time you gave or received a hug? Hugs are cost-free, fat-free and completely natural, so we should give them out all the time. Other research suggests that hugging reduces stress levels, encourages healthy sleep patterns, rejuvenates the spirit, supports the immune system, helps cure depression and invigorates the mind. Best of all, besides the occasional awkward hug, there are no real negative consequences.

On average, children and teenagers receive more hugs than the adult population, however the daily intake of hugs decreases with age. During the teenage years, hugging is still acceptable, but has declined since the elementary school days. Teenagers still give and receive hugs more often than adults, but it is during these vital growing years that the fear of rejection begins. Another reason hugging among youth begins to decline is because males feel that hugging may ruin current friendships with females or threaten their masculinity. For example, if a boy hugs a girl, she may start to think he is interested in a romantic way. On the other hand, if a boy were to hug another male, even in just a friendly way, adults might wonder about the boys’ sexuality. Even though such an embrace between straight male friends is known in the youth’s world as “bromance.” Adults seem to look down on such behavior because the males of their generation never embraced in such a way.

There are several reasons that adults do not hug as often as the younger generations do. Adults will hug young babies all day because everyone enjoys holding a baby and there is no chance of rejection. Adults would enjoy hugging their friends and coworkers more often, but there is a very real fear of hug denial. There are certain societal rules in place that limit the adult population’s affection towards youth and other adults. No one wants to be accused of sexual abuse. Teachers, for instance, are taught to not hug their students. In the work place, there are seminars and trainings on the forms of sexual harassment and so a sort of apprehension is established among employees that by offering a simple hug, one might be threatening another employee’s sense of personal space. Adults have pressure on them to meet the societal roles of perfect parent or employee, and the irony is that this pressure could be released if we submit ourselves to giving more hugs. So the remedy to avoiding the fear of hugging in the work place would be to hug family members and close friends.

Hugging is healthy. It is a great thing to do when you or someone you know is feeling upset, happy, angry, confused, or any emotion! Hugs can better your outlook on life and brighten the day of the recipient. They require little energy, but can produce a great amount. Treat hugs like any other physiological need and make sure to get in the suggested amount per day. Four a day is essential to our health, eight leads to emotional stability and twelve hugs leads to personal growth. Humans need air, shelter, food and hugs, so make sure you hug at least four times today.

Anxiety and Depression

Feeling anxious is a natural and perfectly normal response to stressful situations or events like a driving test, job interview or medical examination. It is part of the body’s fight or flight reflex so helps us to cope with any perceived threat or danger.

Some symptoms associated with anxiety include:

Rapid heartbeat
Tightness in the chest
Dry mouth
Frequent urination
Light headedness
Difficulty swallowing

In some people, and nobody really knows exactly why, attacks of anxiety can become prolonged, happen repeatedly, and are severe enough to interfere with their ability to carry out normal routines and activities. If this is the case then they may be diagnosed as suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

Along with the physical symptoms of anxiety, the individual can feel irritable, unable to concentrate or focus, not in control of their actions and could feel they are losing it or going completely mad. There are several different types of anxiety disorders.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder  the person feels anxious, nervous or keyed up a lot of the time, often about minor stresses at work or at home or perhaps without even knowing why they are feeling anxious.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  a variety of symptoms can follow a severe or life threatening trauma including a lot of anxiety, recurrent and distressing memories, thoughts, images, or feelings associated with the trauma that interferes with normal daily life

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  Recurrent thoughts and urges (obsessions) that result in repetitive thoughts or actions (compulsions) in order to relieve the anxiety brought on by the obsessions. For example, obsession about dirt evokes a compulsion to repeatedly wash hands

Phobia  an extreme fear of something that is not in proportion to the reality to the extent that even thinking about it can evoke anxiety and panic, for example, fear of experiencing an embarrassing or awkward situation from which there is no escape, or fear of leaving a safe place (agoraphobia) may prevent someone leaving the house

Panic Disorder  Recurrent panic attacks with a severe attack of anxiety and fear that happens without warning and for no apparent reason

According to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), 5% of the population in the UK have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and 1% suffer from Panic Disorder. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to get the appropriate treatment as anxiety can also be a symptom of other conditions including an underlying illness or substance abuse, and anxiety will often accompany some form of depression.


Feeling a bit low or down in the dumps from time to time is quite normal, but if the symptoms don’t go away after a couple of weeks and are affecting your normal routines, then it is possible that you are suffering from depression. Around 10% of the population in the UK suffer from depression at any one time.

Some symptoms associated with depression include:

Feeling tired and lethargic for most of the time
Persistent low moods and sadness, a feeling of despondency
Sleep disturbances, either inability to sleep or sleeping too much
A pessimistic outlook on life
Feeling anxious and nervous
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Frightening and irrational thoughts
Loss of pleasure in activities and lack of interest in sex
Avoidance of social contact and social situations
Loss of appetite or an increased appetite and associated weight loss or weight gain
Emotional outbursts for no apparent reason

Depression can affect anyone at any time but some people are more at risk than others, for example, the long term sick and unemployed, the socially isolated, those in prison, anyone with a previous history of depression themselves or in their family or anyone battling with drug or alcohol addiction. Life changing events can sometimes precipitate an episode of depression, for example, redundancy, divorce, physical illness and disability or bereavement.

Sometimes people will seek help from their GP with symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

Mixed Anxiety and Depression

According to government statistics, in the year 2000 only 2.8% of the population suffered from depression without any symptoms of anxiety whereas just over 9% of adults in Britain were suffering from mixed anxiety and depression and this figure had increased from previous years suggesting that the numbers are growing. No one knows exactly what causes either anxiety or depression because there is no single cause; however, there are certain factors that appear to contribute to both anxiety and depressive disorders and these include the possibility of chemical imbalances in the brain, a genetic tendency, personality and personal life experiences or a combination of these factors. Treatment will usually consist of a mixed approach involving medication and psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive behavioural therapy.

Yoga Respiration Exercise Fundamentals

One of the foremost common comments I hear from others among my yoga class and yoga beginners alike is that they realize yoga respiration exercises the foremost useful, but also the hardest set of asanas to master.

It’s true when many traditional and various medicines describe breathing because the very essence of existing. Breathing is one of the primary rhythms we have a tendency to see in life which include sleep awake, birth and death, light and dark.

With this in mind, it’s no marvel that important studies are done to look at the role respiration has on aspects of our life such as health, emotional well being, relationships and also the state of society in general.

In yoga, the breath is known as a rather unifying principle known as prana, a large-reaching energy that can bridge body, mind and spirit together during a harmony that’s the premise of yoga and meditation. Yoga breathing exercise then becomes the set of yoga respiration techniques seeking to maximise this universal energy that exists inherently in all of us.

Those who practice yoga believe that this state of harmony is natural and that there are a number of aspects of life that pull apart our inner harmony. Yoga respiration exercise is one of the fundamental fundamental techniques we tend to can use to control and even eliminate the impact external forces have on our overall health and well-being.

Take our fight or flight response as one example. The instinctual fight or flight response served our ancestors well, arising occasionally to stay our ancestors out of danger and harm. Nowadays, most of us suffer from an almost chronic, permanent fight or flight response triggering symptoms that lead to digestive issues, high blood pressure, deterioration of the arteries and several alternative stress-related illnesses.

Yoga breathing exercises tackle this chronic stress response by breaking through the mind-body response and re-focusing us on our natural state of internal harmony.


The great news is that we don’t need to master yoga respiratory exercises to understand the advantages, but it’s vital that yoga breathing techniques follow a few basic guidelines.

1. Practice Breathing. First and foremost is that we have a tendency to must provide ourselves the permission, time and motivation to boost our respiration through exercise. Yoga breathing techniques are proven to assist master management over our mind and bodies, however it can solely work if you arrange to a disciplined program over a period of many months.

2. Perceive the Physiology of Breathing. A giant half of advanced yoga respiratory techniques involves altering the inhale and exhalation speed plus controlling the depth of respiratory exercise. The goal of yoga respiratory (pranayama) is to ease the mind and heart, however additionally increase the oxygenation of the cells among your body – otherwise called the method of respiration. To master pranayama, your mind photos the exhalation of toxicity and gas whereas on inhale, your mind envisions clean, pure oxygen feeding your body.

3. Become Conscious of your body as it breathes. Yoga respiration techniques stress the role of your body, your abdomen, your ribs, your thorax and chest along with your lungs in the yoga breathing process. For instance, after you observe deep respiratory, the puffing out of the abdomen is a critical indicator that you’re taking in enough breath to accomplish adequate oxygenation. Really mastering pranayama (yoga respiration) is solely doable when you become aware of your breathing rhythms in any activity at any time of day.

4. Specialise in both inhalation and exhalation. After I first started yoga breathing techniques, I focused almost entirely on the inhalation, creating positive I was taking a actually deep breath, while not focusing in the least on how I used to be letting the air out of my body. After all, exhalation is just as important to the success of yoga breathing exercises. Focus on a uniform, controlled unleash instead of a jerky, uncontrolled release.

The long-term health advantages of yoga respiratory exercise are considered important, but I can tell you that the short-term increase in energy, focus, peace and brain power you gain from simply a five-minute yoga respiration technique are incredibly powerful to your overall well being, productivity and happiness.