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Body Category

Blood Pressure: The Silent Illness!

Blood PressureIt should be a simple question – Do You Know Your Blood Pressure?

In the UK, Fitness Trackers have taken us by storm, with many of us calculating our sleep, our steps, our activity levels, inclines climbed. As well as knowing the macro nutrients and calorie intakes of the foods we have consumed.

However, many of us will be unaware of such a vital statistic as to what our blood pressure is…

This is not entirely surprising, as unless you have an existing illness, are on medication, regularly visit the Doctor’s or have unexplained symptoms, you could go years without the need for it to be checked.

Without being alarmist, it is known as the ‘Silent Killer’, and that is because often people can have no symptoms, despite suffering with Hypertension. Shockingly, for many, it is only when they have a stroke or heart attack, that they realise they had an underlying condition such as high blood pressure. (more…)

Solitude & Silence

Solitude & SilenceThe other day an advert popped up on TV, there is a lake scene, and a circular countdown timer and the advert encourages you to just be calm for 30 seconds. The advert is actually promoting an app called ‘Calm’, the purpose of the app is to aid meditation and sleep. The advert is so successful, as in today’s busy modern world, we find it difficult and a bit uncomfortable to just sit still and quiet for 30 seconds. Hence the need for the app in the first place.

But it is a reminder that we have forgotten how to be still and quiet, and that carving out periods of solitude are seen as selfish and indulgent. But in fact, it is essential for our wellbeing, and highly needed when it comes to our spiritual development and enlightenment.

Pablo Picasso said “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” (more…)

1,2,3 – Breathe

Just BreatheI know what you are thinking, why do I need to read an article on breathing, I know perfectly well how to breathe. I just breathe in and breathe out – all done!

But and this is a big but – we are all breathing, but many of us are not breathing as well as we could, and in many cases modern day living is hampering how we breathe.

Statistics show that as many as 9 out of 10 of us are breathing in a way that works against our anatomy. We need to get back to breathing as we did when we were children!

Did you know that sitting at desks, our posture, feeling stressed and even how we dress can all impact how we breathe? In fact, activities like using social media, texting/emailing can cause us to actually hold our breath! (more…)

Exploring Pilates

PilatesFor those of you that have explored yoga, but found that the more spiritual elements of the exercise didn’t suit, then it is worth taking a look at Pilates.

Making Room for Pilates

It maybe that you already have an exercise routine in place, whether that is cycling, swimming, football, HITT training etc, but research suggests that it is a good idea for both recovery and injury prevention to round out your fitness regime with a weekly class in something like Yoga or Pilates.

Pilates Founder

Pilates, is in itself a complete exercise method, it was named for the developer Joseph Pilates; born in Germany Joseph suffered ill-health as a child that left him distorted and frail. He was determined to overcome his disabilities, and studied Eastern and Western exercise approaches and would later move to England and have jobs as a circus performer, boxer and self-defence instructor. (more…)

Making Your Home Green Again

Indoor PlantsHaving house-plants had fallen out of favour in recent times, but now retro plants and having plants indoors is making a comeback.

It maybe that this bringing greenery inside trend has come about more from an interiors and design perspective, but in fact there are many reasons why having plants in the home can be good for your health. (more…)

Botanicals for the Skin

BotanicalsIf you have been shopping lately for skin products, you may well have noticed the uplift in items containing restorative botanicals. You might be more familiar with botanicals like Rosehip and Lavender than you think, as they have recently been popular for use in soft drinks like tonic and alcoholic drinks like gin, but in fact, these botanicals are also very useful for the skin, and have been used for generations, and their use in cosmetics is now being highlighted.

So, what does each botanical do?

Argan

Argan is commonly found as a hair oil, and this is for good reason, in Morocco where it originates, it is used to protect from dry desert conditions. It is a natural form of vitamin E, and as such it is a great botanical to consider in autumn and winter when we are suffering with cooler weather and central heated homes. It is great for sensitive skin, and those that are prone to redness. You will find it in products aimed at your hair, cuticles and skin. (more…)

Thrive this Summer

SummerAs I write this article England is in the throes of what can only be described as a heat-wave. It’s the glorious weather we can only dream about, and plenty of us pay good money each year to ensure we get some by holidaying abroad. But somehow when you are working, and trying to sleep at night, it’s all not so funny. So how can you thrive during summer rather than just survive?

Heat Stroke

Heat exhaustion is not just a possibility in foreign climes, it can happen just as easily at home… Typical symptoms are nausea, dizziness, cramps, thirst, tiredness, headache and even a fast pulse. It is caused by the body losing too much water and salt, through sweating, either due to extreme heat or maybe from playing sport in very hot weather. To guard against it happening, ensure that you stay well hydrated, try to eat more water rich foods in your diet (think cucumber and watermelon), and stay out of the sun during the height of the day between 11am-3pm, and seek shade where possible. If you do get caught out, then remove unnecessary clothes, lie down, get into as cool a place as possible, drink water, and try and cool the skin. (more…)

The Surprising Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate

Easter has just passed – but maybe you still have a house full of chocolate? If so, you may not need to feel so guilty about indulging in your favourite treats, as chocolate has some surprising health benefits.

I’m not suggesting that you eat 100g of chocolate in one go, although it wouldn’t be difficult to do with an Easter Egg! But the average size block bar of chocolate contains 100g and with that quite a few nutrients needed for every day health: (more…)

March Calendar

March 20181st – St David’s Day

St David is of course the patron saint of Wales, the 1st celebrates both the life of the saint and Welsh culture, but interestingly the saint is also celebrated in Canada and the USA. Not that much is known about St David, it is thought he lived to be 100, but texts about him only appeared 500 years later. So, some of his story may be true, others may just be legends. He was known to have founded several churches and a monastery, and he went on to become an archbishop, eventually he was canonised.

2nd – Full Moon – Worm Moon

At this time of year, a full moon is known as a worm moon, as a result of early Native American tribes seeing this as the time of year that earthworms would appear due to the ground softening. But it also has other names: Full Crow Moon, Full Crust Moon, Full Sap Moon and Lenten Moon. (more…)

Lemon Balm: The perfect winter pick-me-up

Lemon BalmYou may be growing Lemon Balm in your garden, it is readily available in garden centres and is part of the mint family. Like mint it grows in abundance and spreads, so if you want to limit its potential it is better grown in pots.

If you rub a leaf between your fingers you will likely be taken back to a childhood smell – lemon sherbet. But what you may not know is the healing properties that this scented herb has to offer:

Anxiety

Studies have shown that Lemon Balm is an effective treatment for remedying anxiety, it’s active properties: rosmarinic acid and triterpenoids are thought to be why it is effective, when given a Lemon Balm extract those in studies reported an improvement in their anxiety levels. (more…)