A New Type of Stretching for Rapid Box Splits (And More)

If you’re trying to increase your flexibility and particularly if you’re looking to learn party tricks like the splits, then you might currently be going through the painful process of forcing yourself into uncomfortable stretched positions every day. According to Pavel Tsatsouline though, this might be a giant waste of your time! In his book, Relax Into Stretch, Pavel explains an alternative way to stretch that may be both less painful and more effective. Read on and we’ll look at how this works.

You’re More Flexible Than You Know…

To demonstrate just how flexible you already are, try lying flat on your side with your legs straight. Now raise your top leg up sideways as far as you can. In all likelihood, you should be able to get it to 90 degrees so that it’s pointing directly upwards.

And if you can do that, then you should be able to perform box splits!

Why? Because there’s nothing actually connecting your legs other than skin and bone. There are no tendons, no ligaments and no muscle – there’s nothing there to physically ‘stretch’. So if anyone can do the box splits, you should be able to do it too…

The Role of the Central Nervous System

The question you should be asking at this stage then, is what is it that’s actually holding you back from complete mobility and freedom of movement?

And the answer is that it could be your central nervous system. The idea here is that you have ‘learned’ a healthy range of motion for your limbs and joints and that your central nervous system then works to try and keep you within that. When your muscles and connective tissue stretch too much, your reflexive strength kicks in causing a knee-jerk contraction that tightens you up again and prevents you from moving any further in that direction.

So in other words, your inability to stretch is actually largely psychological.

How to ‘Relax Into the Stretch’

To get around this, Pavel teaches us to try ‘relaxing’ into our stretches instead. This means that you’re no longer trying to stretch and elongate anything and as such you don’t need to push yourself to such painful extremes. Instead, you’re going to get into the position where you first start feeling some resistance. Then, instead of trying to push further, the objective is just to relax into that position and let the muscles soften as much as possible. You can even try using visualization techniques – imagining that your muscles are being bathed in warm water for instance, which can help you to un-tense them.

Either way, you should eventually find that the position feels comfortable or at least more relaxed eventually and at that point you have successfully ‘relaxed into the stretch’. You should find that practicing this even just a few times is enough to retrain your central nervous system, to lose that old reflex and to regain some of the flexibility and vigour of your youth.

Give it a shot and if it doesn’t work you haven’t lost anything. A lot of people though find that it is very useful indeed – just don’t use this technique to stretch your back which can lead to injury.

How to Stay Fit While On Vacation

Ah. Vacation. You’ve been counting down the days with the eagerness of a inmate anticipating his release from prison, and, at last, it is here. Freedom from the 9 to 5 drudgery, ghastly weather, and mind-numbingly dull routine. You’ve got all sorts of exciting adventures planned, amazing things to see, and–of course–delicious food to eat. But, you’ve overlooked one important thing. A fitness plan.

Yes, lugging that suitcase will keep you trim, but there are easier ways to do it.

All of that delicious food will likely contain a hefty heap of calories and fat–and the last thing that you want to do is return home with a mountainous midriff. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to stay fit on your vacation without sacrificing an ounce of fun.

Get Active at the Airport

Will you be traveling to destinations afar? If so, you will likely have plenty of time to kill at the airport. Instead of passing the hours awkwardly perched in an uncomfortable chair, get up and move around. In the New York Times‘ “For Healthier Flying Pack a Pair of Walking Shoes,” Exercise Physiologist, Dr. Christopher Berger, states “travel does not mean de-conditioning. You’re stuck in a terminal for three hours, boo hoo, but you have a climate-controlled place where you can literally walk for miles at some airports if you want.”

So, take a saunter to a distant terminal, check out an airport gym–yes, they do exist–or simply do some squats and lunges. And whatever you do, don’t give in and take the moving sidewalk.

Sightsee in your Skechers

Guided tours are great, but, sometimes, the best way to truly experience a new place or culture is to throw on your running shoes and explore on foot. If you jog at home, keep up the habit and find a great place to run in your new surroundings. And, if walking is more your style, forgo taxis and buses and opt, instead, to get to and fro under your own steam. In an “Expert Interview with Sagan Morrow on Diet and Health,” the health guru and nutritionist admits that she does not plan for formal exercise when she is traveling because she always does a ton of walking when visiting new places.” And this approach may just work for you.

Fine-tune your Front Crawl

Does your cruise ship, resort, or hotel offer amenities like a swimming pool, private beach, or gym? If so, you are in the perfect position to maintain your fitness regime. As “How to get a Good Workout in the Hotel Pool” reminds us, swimming is easy on the joints while offering resistance to your muscles and requires no equipment other than a bathing suit.” So, why not perfect your backstroke or challenge the kids to a game of Marco Polo? If swimming is not your thing you could start a game of beach volleyball or hit the exercise equipment for an hour or two. Not only will you enjoy benefits to your health, but you will have fun doing it.

Furnish your own Fitness Room

By adding a few lightweight exercise items to your suitcase you can turn your suite, cabin, or–if you’re extremely fortunate–luxury penthouse into your own private gym. Yes, all you need is a jump rope, some resistance bands, your favorite workout DVDs, some handgrips, and a heart rate monitor and you are all set to burn some calories and stretch your muscles in the privacy of your own room.

You can also perform a full-body workout without using any tools at all. Shape‘s “The Ultimate Hotel Room Workout” offers full instructions to a number of moves including squats, crunches, and cardio bursts.

So, go ahead. Enjoy your adventures, take in the sights, and approach that mile-long buffet with nary a worry. You’ve got a plan that will send those calories packing and keep your waist fit and trim. Happy travels.

How do you stay fit while on vacation?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and enthusiastic traveller who refuses to stay anywhere that does not have a pool. You can follow her at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.

9 Pointers for Relieving Computer-Related Eye Strain

Staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day is hard on your eyes. Whether you are haunted by a searing headache that feels like a hot poker is stabbing you in the occipital lobe, a pair of corneas that are so dry and gritty that you wonder if you’ve been bobbing for apples in sand, or eyes so red that your boss keeps sending you for drug testing, computer-related eye strain is a pain in the posterior. Thankfully, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life plagued by eye strain and pupil pain.

By following a few simple steps, you can prevent eye strain and protect your ocular health.

1. Toss the tube.

Archaic tube-style monitors, also known as CRTs, play a major role in annoying your peepers. If possible, kiss your CRT “goodbye” and replace it with a flat-screen LCD monitor. LCD screens have less flicker and glare–leading culprits in the creation of eye strain.

If you have to stick with the tube, make sure you select the highest refresh rate as possible and equip it with an anti-glare screen.

2. Play with the display.

It is likely that one of the first things you did when you got your computer was personalize your display settings. While, your hot pink background and deep purple font may reflect your personality, they are also contributing to your raging headaches and scorching eye sockets.

When selecting your display settings, opt for retina-friendly choices instead of going for dramatic flair. The brightness of your monitor should match that of your surroundings. If your computer acts like a light in the room, it is too bright. Choose a lower color temperature in order to reduce eye strain-causing blue light. Turn up the contrast. Choose a text size that is easy to read. And opt for black text on a white background.

3. Be blinky.

You are not in a staring contest with your computer, so remember to blink. It is said that the average person blinks approximately 20 times each minute, but only 7 times when they are parked in front of their computer. As a result, your eyes dry up and begin to feel like someone has been scrubbing them with steel wool. Remember to blink frequently. You can also rehydrate your eyes with artificial tear eye drops.

4. Protect your 20/20 with 20-20-20.

Break out your egg timer and set it for twenty minutes. A great way to prevent strained eye muscles is to engage in the 20-20-20 rule–every twenty minutes you stare at an object that is roughly 20 feet away for a period of 20 seconds.

5. Roll those eyes.

A great accompaniment for the 20-20-20 exercise is the eye roll. Yes, the action that got you in trouble with parents and teachers will now save you from eye strain. Be bold and roll your eyes up to your eyebrows and then in a large circular motion. Do this once every hour and your eyes will thank you.

6. Get your hands involved.

Under ordinary circumstances, it is a good idea to keep your hands away from your eyes. Unless, of course, you are “palming” them to avoid eye strain. What is palming? It is a great way to give your eyes a break from the pupil-piercing light emitted by your computer screen.

Simply cover your eyes with the palms of your hands–without actually putting any pressure on the eye area. Rest the heel of your hand on your cheek bone and place the fingers of your right hand over those of your left hand across your forehead. Let your eyes soak up the darkness for three minutes and repeat this several times each day.

Eye strain is not the only negative by-product of working life. If you suffer from job-related aches and pains, check out these surprising causes of fatigue.

7. Massage your eyes.

Your eyes work hard. Surely they deserve a massage as much as your neck or your shoulders do. Using the ring finger on each hand, simply make small circular motions, stopping at various points along your orbital bone and brow. This motion is also great for relieving sinus pain.

8. Go gunnar.

No one knows the woes of computer-related eye strain better than dedicated gamers. Gunnar glasses, while designed with the devout gamer in mind, can benefit anyone who spends a great deal of time glued to a computer screen. Their yellow hued lenses combat the blue light emitted by your monitor, greatly reducing eye strain. They also increase clarity and contrast and come in both prescription or non-prescription forms.

9. Seek a pro.

No one knows eyes and the implications of eye strain better than a professional eye care provider. Making sure that your eyes are checked annually will go a long way to protecting your vision for years to come.

By following a few easy strain-preventing tips you can bid adieu to bloodshot, achy, sandpapery eyes and the related throbbing headaches. You only have one set of eyes and they need to last you a lifetime, so treat them well. Your baby blues will thank you. If you’re still feeling tired, you can always try to beat afternoon fatigue with nutrition.

What do you do to avoid developing eye strain?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger who spends hours in front of her laptop each day. You can follow her offbeat observations at The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss.

Dieting: How to gain weight

Many people in the world are looking to lose weight, however, there are many people in the world who struggle to gain weight; whether you want to gain muscle mass or gain size, gaining weight is very simple, as long as you remember to stay away from the junk food.

To gain weight, the key is to increase your caloric intake. Whether you want to eat more meals each day or just increase the size of your meal, as long as you are consuming more calories, you will gain weight, even if you believe you have ‘bad genes’ or a ‘very fast metabolism’.

As with losing weight, gaining weight takes time, dedication and persistence. If anything, it is easier to lose weight than to gain weight.

Here are the tips on the best way to gain weight:

Eat a lot of the good stuff

You may think that you are already eating a lot, but if you aren’t gaining weight, you are not eating enough. To pack on the pounds, you should aim for at least 6 meals a day and eat every 2-3 hours to pack in the nutrients.

You may find it difficult as often you will be forcing yourself to eat, however, you eend to persist and look at the end goal.

To gain weight, you should aim for around 3500 calories a day, but you need to consume good calories to see the best benefits. You must avoid eating junk food as it will just make you fat and is not the answer to you weight gain.

To gain a healthy weight, you must consume the three macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. This will help you gain a healthy weight and muscle mass.

High Protein

Protein is an essential part of your diet and a building block for everything in your body, such as muscles, bones, skin, hair and blood.

To gain weight, you should consume a high amount of protein. This includes meat, cheese, milk, fish and eggs.

Eating high amounts of protein, along with carbs and healthy fats will ensure you gain weight and your muscles grow and become stronger.

Carbs for weight gain

Carbs are vital for weight gain and they are the bodies main source of energy, but too much can you make you fat. Carbs include pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread, oatmeal, fruit and veggies and many more.

Avoid simple carbs as they are quickly digested due to the high sugar content. They contain empty calories and are more than likely going to be stored as fat.

If you just eat protein, you will find it difficult to gain weight as your body will use protein for energy and ultimately is counter productive.

To gain a healthy weight, pack you main meals with proteins, carbs and fats, as well as snacking in between. You will gain weight in no time.

The right fats

Eating the right fats will make you look bigger and healthier. Healthy fats are not found in junk food. Junk food contains trans fats and saturated fats, both of which are bad.

Healthy fats found in food such as meats, dairy, nuts and avocados. Itis recommended that the healthy fats should be 30% of your daily calorie intake. Healthy fats are best eaten as snacks throughout the day.

Eat late at night

Studies have shown that changing the times you eat can increase the weight gaining process. By eating a large dinner later in the evening or snacking at night, you are fueling your body with calories that won’t be used in physical activity as you will be sleeping.

The study showed that people who eat later a night have a higher body mass index compared to those who don’t eat after 8pm.

Weight train

If your workout consists of alot of cardio, this could be the problem as to why you are finding it trouble to gain weight. Without consuming the correct amount of calories, engaging in large amounts of cardio results in weight loss your body uses the fat and muscle as energy.

Weight training has many benefits. Weight training will build up your muscles and stimulate your appetite. To get maximum muscle gains, lift heavy weights with low reps. To begin with, start with compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, benchpress, pull ups, and dips. Compound exercises use a range of muscles in the body, allowing you to get stronger quicker. You can then move on to isolation exercises.

If you eat intake a large amount of calories with protein, you will gain weight very quickly.

Aswell as eating more and working out, you need to stay well hydrated and get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. If you follow these weight gain tips and persist through the difficult times, you will gain weight in now time and ultimately look how you want to look.

What do you think of this blog? Can you think of any more tips on how to gain weight? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

Benefits of Exercise with Muscular Dystrophy

Learning to live with the diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy is a trying road. 

A horrible reality that affects hundreds of thousands of men and women, according to Medical News Today is, “Muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal or voluntary muscles which control movement. The muscles of the heart and some other involuntary muscles are also affected in some forms of muscular dystrophy, and a few forms involve other organs as well.” Incredibly frightening, if you have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy it is sometimes hard to know which way to turn to take control back of your life.

One place a person fighting this disease can turn to regain a connection with normalcy is to bring a regular exercise routine into their life. Why does exercise do a person with Muscular Dystrophy good? Here’s a look at five ways exercise helps considerably.

Exercise slows muscle deterioration. Having a regular strength routine using nautilus and free weights as well as cardio activities is highly beneficial. According to the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability just doing minimal movement with light weights or rubber resistance bands can help a person’s arms, legs and core considerably. This assistance with strength helps with maintaining a healthy posture, remaining independent, and maintaining a range of motion as well as keeping the joints flexible.

Exercise assists respiration. One of the greatest benefits of doing cardio exercise for people with Muscular Dystrophy is that it assists the diaphragm and other muscles associated with breathing to remain strong and agile. A common issue for those suffering from Muscular Dystrophy is a decrease in the functioning abilities of the diaphragm. Experts recommend low impact exercise like walking, yoga, biking, or swimming.

Exercise increases overall energy levels. As with all people, exercising helps the body remain healthy and have more energy overall. In regards to those people with Muscular Dystrophy, the March, 2005 issue of Neurology published a study that showed that people with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (a condition that affects the arm and face muscles) had less fatigue after having a regular workout plan for three months. Participants worked out on a bike for a little over a half hour five times a week.

Exercise helps boosts happiness. One issue for many people diagnosed with a disease is that they feel that their life has been limited to the illness, which results in depression. A highly beneficial way to counteract depression is to exercise. As little as ten minutes can turn a frown upside down.

Baby, it’s Cold Outside – Don’t Let That Cold Affect Your Health!

For most of human history, winter meant death for large numbers of people. With food scarce, the elements brutal, and disease rampant, only the strong and well prepared emerged in the spring. Modern advancements have prevented mass death for most of us, but one inevitability still holds true – people get sick in the winter. 

But they don’t have to. Follow this guide to making it through the dark, cold months unscathed.

Be smart and avoid getting sick this winter.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplements such as Naturemade Vitamin C 1000 mg are among the safest and most effective additives to consume in the winter. Experts believe that while vitamin C can’t cure or prevent the common cold, it can reduce the duration and seriousness of colds. Also, it boosts the immune system and may protect against prenatal health problems, eye disease, cardiovascular disease, and can help prevent skin wrinkling.


With the exception of a healthy diet, the single most effective and important behavior in which a person can engage is exercise. This is especially crucial during cold season in the winter. Boosting and maintaining the overall health and well being of the body and mind, even modest exercise creates dramatic increases in endurance, immunity, durability and overall well being.

A simple piece of equipment like the Rogue Kettlebell can produce crushing workouts without having to leave the warmth of home. It’s easy to slack off when your bathing suit is a distant memory, but exercise is more about being well than looking good.


Although it is still a mysterious phenomenon that largely baffles scientists, experts agree on one thing: Sleep is absolutely vital to recovery and immunity. Sleep-deprived people are weaker both physically and mentally, and good, consistent, uninterrupted sleep is commonly passed over as a serious boon to health. If you have trouble sleeping, consider meditation and changes in diet. Also, consider non-narcotic sleep aids and supplements such as Ancient Earth Minerals by Body Ecology.

Hand Sanitizer

More people are sick in the winter. Although the benefits of hand sanitizer are hotly debated, as are the drawbacks of excessive use, germs are everywhere in the winter as more and more people succumb to colds, flu and other contagious ailments. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable, and hand sanitizer does kill most germs instantly. Pick up a couple of bottles of EO Organic Hand Sanitizer to keep in your car, at work, and at home.

Avoid the flu and common cold this winter.

In the winter, it is especially important to eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly, and wash and sanitize your hands – especially after public outings. Back your immune system up with non-narcotic supplements such as vitamin C and use common sense and basic hygiene when dealing with high-risk people and situations.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about health and medicine.

Don’t Risk Your Heart: How Exercising in Middle-Age Can Lead to a Cardiac Event

There isn’t a single doctor who wouldn’t recommend a healthy diet and regular exercise. The two are extremely beneficial, especially if you’re hoping to live a long and healthy life.

Unfortunately, for middle-aged people, there are cardiac risks associated with vigorous exercise. Around 40 years old your muscle mass may begin to decline at a rat of 8 percent per decade. It’s essential to be aware of the risks and practice a safe exercise routine to ensure that your vigorous workout routine isn’t your heart’s undoing.

Cardiac Arrest

“Heart attacks aren’t just for older, overweight men with high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Ilan Wittstein, an assistant professor at John Hopkins. “Doctors are seeing patients in their 40s come in with heart disease due to self-inflicted risk factors…Middle-aged men need to be on guard. Even if you work out and eat healthy, you could still be at risk.”

All people aged 40 and over have an increased cardiovascular risk. It’s essential that middle-aged people recognize this risk, and talk to their doctors before performing any strenuous workouts. The most important thing is to attempt to exercise smarter, not harder. Try and exercise, or be physically active, for at least 30 minutes each day, but don’t overdo it, as this can increase your risk of cardiac arrest.

Exercise should be implemented in every lifestyle, regardless of age. If you’ve experienced cardiac arrest before, or you’re currently high-risk for it, you can still exercise. Talk to your doctor about what low-impact exercises are appropriate for someone in your condition. You may also want to invest in one of AED Brands Lifepak defibrillators, as this will ensure you get the help you need should a life-threatening cardiac event occur during exercise.

Vessel Disease

“By middle age, most people have developed some underlying early stage vessel disease,” warns Kade Davison, a clinical exercise science teacher. Plaque could be building in your coronary arteries, which in turn could result in a cardiac event. “If anyone is going to have a cardiac event they’re far more likely to have one during exercise,” says Davison.

It’s important to be wary of over-exercising as you grow older. It may not be a good idea to enter that upcoming triathlon or endurance race. Instead, you’ll want to focus on a healthy and consistent regiment of exercise, ensuring your body’s electrolyte balance, hydration, and potassium levels don’t change in an unhealthy way.

Heart Tears

Heart tears are caused by over-doing it. Even something as low-impact as stretching can cause a heart tear. Of course, regular stretching is good for the body, but over-stretching isn’t. Tiny tears in your heart can cause a variety of health issues as time goes on, including:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Scarring
  • Stiff arteries
  • Inflammation

Because heart tears are difficult to detect on your own, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor – especially if you participate in vigorous workouts. Your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist who will monitor your heart and test for heart tears, as well as many other cardiac issues. Your doctor will then be able to assist you in building an exercise routine that is safe for your body.

Everything in Moderation

Practice moderation and you can ensure that your heart stays strong as you grow older. Never over-exercise – especially during middle-age, as this could potentially result in a cardiac issue. Keeping a strong body should lead to living a long life, so make sure your exercise routine is safe for your age and body type.

Strength Training and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’re probably aware of all the effects the disease can have on your body. From intense sugar cravings to more serious complications like poor cardiovascular health and an increased risk for certain types of cancer, diabetes can have a significant impact on nearly all areas of well-being.

Thankfully, though, there are several ways patients with diabetes can reduce symptoms and prevent complications, as well as enhance their overall quality of life. One great way to boost health and keep complications at bay is through regular strength-training workouts. If you have diabetes, and are looking to enhance health and prevent the harmful effects of this disease, keep reading to discover all the benefits strength training can offer.

The Benefits of Strength Training 

Like other forms of physical activity, strength-training exercises can prove advantageous for individuals with diabetes. For example, regular sessions have been shown to help in the following ways:

  • ~Weight loss. For many diabetics, body weight and BMI are primary concerns; in fact, especially in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, obesity often plays a major role in the development of the disease. Therefore, healthy weight loss is essential in regulating blood sugar and preventing complications. Through strength training, you can build lean muscle, boost metabolism and burn fat and calories more efficiently.
  • ~Cardiovascular benefits. Diabetes affects heart function in a number of ways. Most significantly, the disease restricts blood flow, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve damage and more. And while, traditionally, aerobic exercise was thought to be best for heart health, new studies prove that strength training is just as, if not more, effective at promoting healthy blood flow and enhancing cardiovascular fitness.
  • ~Glucose tolerance. Strength-training workouts not only lead to weight loss and improved heart health, but they can also boost the body’s tolerance to glucose. This can promote the regulation of blood-sugar levels, thus preventing diabetes complications of all kinds.
  • ~Insulin sensitivity. In patients with diabetes, the body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas and helps to control blood glucose. With regular strength-training workouts, however, the body becomes less resistant to natural insulin, allowing the hormone to do its job of keeping blood sugar levels in check.

Getting Started

Check out the following tips for beginning or enhancing a strength-training regimen, each of which will help reduce the risks associated with diabetes as well as boost overall health and fitness.

  • ~Start now. The sooner you get started, the sooner you start reaping the benefits. If you’re new to weight lifting or resistance training, be sure to avoid overexertion. And while the ideal weight can vary, you should be able to lift and repeat at least 20 times without experiencing intense pain or exhaustion. 
  • ~Aim for one or two days a week, then work your way up to a steady routine. 
  • ~Monitor glucose levels. Keeping a close watch on blood sugar is essential. And while traditional monitoring systems will suffice, many people are switching to continuous monitoring systems. Continuous glucose monitors are an especially great option during workouts, as they can alert you to irregularities, thus preventing harmful side effects. 
  • ~Consider HIIT. When it comes to improving insulin sensitivity, promoting weight loss and enhancing heart health, HIIT, or high intensity interval training, may be best. Here’s how HIIT works: for the majority of your workout, train at a moderate, steady pace. Then, every few minutes or so, incorporate short blasts of faster, more intense training. 
  • ~Eat well. While strength training and aerobic exercise can reduce the risks of diabetes, they should always be used in conjunction with a healthy, diabetic-friendly diet. Avoid sugars, starches and processed foods, and stick to fresh produce, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, a strength-training regimen could be just the thing to help regulate blood sugar and enhance quality of life. Speak to your doctor and see if strength-training is right for you.

Health Tips for Nurses – Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Others

Nursing can be a highly rewarding, and at the same time, a highly demanding profession. From working long hours to dealing with the psychological traumas of watching your patients scream in pain, this job can take a serious toll on your physical and psychological health. Not to forget the occupational hazards, like taking care of patients suffering from infectious disease, with a risk of catching that disease, biological or chemical hazards, needle-stick injuries, and back pain due to the physical nature of work. All in all, you need to take good care of your health, not just for yourself but your patients as well.

Following are some basic health tips for nurses, to make sure you are living a healthy and happy life while carrying out the difficult yet appreciable job of helping out people in distress.

The Basics:

Being a health care professional, you don’t need anybody else to remind you about the importance of healthy diet and exercise. Start off your day with a healthy breakfast containing protein and carbs. And take out some time for exercise on regular basis. Being a nurse, it’s important to strengthen your bones and muscles. Keep yourself hydrated and most importantly, take a good seven to eight hours sleep to make sure you are not sleep deprived while working.

At Work:

While at work, avoid skipping meals, but at the same time avoid having snacks or fast food to curb the appetite. They might give you a very short lived feel-good effect, but once it fades out, you will start to feel lethargic and fatigued. And in the longer run, such food can do more harm to your health than good. Instead of justifying the use of unhealthy snacks due to your busy schedule, carry some healthy and ready to eat stuff with you like fruit, dry fruits like almonds, string cheese, whole grain snack bars, and the likes. Eat food which is rich in vitamins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and the likes.

Safety Measures:

Make sure you are following all sorts of safety measures and guidelines to avoid needlestick or any other type of injuries. Use safety equipment like good quality gloves, or caps while using needles, and the likes. As a nurse, it’s your right to expect and demand such equipment from your employers.

Nurses need to be alert and concentrating on their work all the time, not just for their own sake but for the patient’s as well. So, while at work, you need to avoid getting distracted as much as possible because it will put your own health or your patients’ health at risk. You need to avoid or limit alcohol consumption for the same reason.

Have Fun:

As earlier suggested, working as a nurse can sometimes be quite devastating for your emotional health. And there’s every chance that you might have to work at odd working hours or on holidays? So, you need to make sure that you are not giving up on your friend’s meet-ups, hobbies, or activities that make you happy. Don’t compromise on these activities for the sake of working overtime and making some extra money. You need to relax, and take out some time for yourself. This is important to deal with psychological setbacks which can be quite common in the life of nurses.

Weight-Loss Incentives That Work Better Than Cash

Photo credits: Kevin Old

You may have read about Dubai offering their citizens gold for every kilogram of weight they lost. While this is a nice incentive to lose weight – for sure – this isn’t an option for everyone. We’re going to go over some other incentives to shed the pounds and get healthy. If you’re still not convinced that losing weight is important after reading, no one’s going to be able to help you. Ready to take control of your life?

Incentives to Lose Weight

Here are a few specific incentives that can be used to motivate you to lose weight and keep it from coming back.

  • Significant Other – One of the biggest incentives to lose weight is so that you have stick around longer for your significant other. If you’re truly in love, you’re going to want to spend as much time with your partner as possible. The healthier you are the longer you’re going to be able to stick around.

  • Children – Another great incentive for weight loss is your children. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you’re likely to have nieces or nephews who want you to stick around. Additionally, if you lose weight and stay healthy, you’re going to be able to set a better example for them.

  • More Energy – Imagine not getting worn out when you try to walk up a set of stairs or being able to walk for more than a mile without having to take a break. When you lose your excess weight, you’re going to have more energy that you can use to actually enjoy life. You might be surprised at how much you’re able to enjoy life if you’re in shape.

  • More Time – If you’re healthy, there’s a better chance that you’re going to live longer. Even if you’re only able to add a few months or a year to your lifespan, this is going to be time that is precious to you and the people around you. When you’re overweight, it puts a huge strain on your body and can cause other health problems that can cause you problems.

  • More Enjoyment – In addition to all the above, you’re also going to be able to enjoy life more when you’re fit and in shape. Beyond just increased energy, you’re going to find that you have an entirely different outlook on life, which can be really nice in a lot of different ways.

The Results?

As you can see, losing weight and getting in shape is a reality that can be yours if you do the work. And if you do, you can build a career in fitness in Sydney or anywhere else in the world. Even if you don’t go this route, you’re going to be able to enjoy a new life with your fit body that’s a lot healthier than it was when you were overweight.

Written by: Adeline Erwin is a fitness coach and health enthusiast living in Australia. She conducts free fitness classes for seniors at her neighborhood’s community center.