Simple Healthy Habits for Your Body and Mind

You’ll be surprised at how a lot of people don’t actually pay enough attention to their own well-being. Fortunately though, there are a lot of habits we can do to keep our mind and body healthy. Here are only some of them.

Stay well-hydrated

Drinking enough water each day will benefit our overall health. It keeps our organs functioning at their best, it keeps mind sharp, it keeps your skin healthy, and many more. That’s why it is important not to neglect your water intake. Especially in Singapore where it gets hot often and you might sweat a lot. So, remember to drink enough water throughout the day!

Eat healthier food

Another pretty obvious habit you should have is to eat more healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are just as important because they also provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients we need daily. In addition to that, they are also low in fat helping us prevent the unhealthy build-up of plaque in the arteries or the blood as a whole.

Don’t follow fitness trends

If someone claims that they have the key to quick weight loss using a certain diet, don’t believe them. Unless that topic is actually well-researched, don’t assume anything from different fitness trends. Of course, there are some who trends that can be effective. But most trends are fads and still stem from poorly-researched endeavors.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is also very important for the body and mind. For one, it helps us maintain our weight. Losing fat and gaining muscle to achieve your ideal weight can have many benefits you don’t even know about. It keeps our heart and lungs healthy, it keeps our blood flowing efficiently, and it also boosts brain function.

Walk more often

You might not notice it but people actually walk less and less in today’s time. This may be because of a sedentary job or maybe the person is just lounging around and scrolling on his phone. Because walking is a natural part of our life, we need to start doing it again more often. Try to get at least 30 minutes of walking each day.

Have enough sleep

Another important practice to keep our brain and body healthy is to get enough sleep. It’s already known that Singaporeans lack sleep. But getting enough shut-eye is really more important to your well-being than you think. It gives your mind some much-needed time to rest and take a break and it also allows your body to recover muscles tissues just as well.

Have a hobby

Have a hobby that you’re sure you can have fun with. Having a hobby is a great way to relieve stress. Of course, de-stressing is very important and beneficial not only to our mind but also our body. If you’re stressed too often, your blood pressure will rise and your immune functions will also weaken. So, find a way to relieve stress!

An Introduction to Acupuncture

With the different medical advances made in recent years, the name acupuncture seems like a thing of the past only witch doctors would perform. But there are benefits to it that might help several conditions. By supplementing your main treatment with alternatives like acupuncture, you might have a better chance at recovery.

Here is everything you need to know about acupuncture.

It has been round for thousands of years. There are records detailing the use of acupuncture as holistic treatment since 1000 BC, but the earliest materials used for the practice were dated at 6000 BC. The goal of the treatment to is give the correct stimulus to return the body to its balanced state.

It uses the concept of meridians and qi. Qi is the name for the energy that flows through the body and is used to maintain health and balance. The meridians are the channels through which the qi flows.

The system consists of 12 main channels that represent the important organs in the body. There are 365 points in the body that are considered the openings to the channels. If there is a disruption in the flow of the qi, the person gets sick.

Acupuncture is used with other treatments. Acupuncture complements other forms of treatment, which means that you also need to improve your diet, take medication, and consider other treatments such as massage, herbs, and heat therapy.

Acupuncture modifies the flow of the qi. To return the flow of the qi to normal, you can disrupt that flow by inserting needles into one of the many channel openings. The needles used are different from the ones used for sewing.

It is mainly used to address chronic illness. Acupuncture seems to work well in addressing chronic pain for a lot of people who have tried various treatments. Although not yet confirmed, the stimulation is believed to boost the body’s ability to release painkillers because the nerves and muscles are stimulated.

Your doctor in Singapore might recommend acupuncture if you have any of the following conditions: headaches, migraine, back pain, menstrual cramps, respiratory disorders, dental pain, osteoarthritis, and many more.

There are different styles of acupuncture. Some styles of acupuncture specialize in various methods. This is why you need to ask your doctor for the options if you have a bleeding disorder, a cardiovascular illness or if you are pregnant. You should only go to a certified acupuncturist to avoid possible complications from malpractice.

There are risks. Although it doesn’t happen to everyone who tried acupuncture, there are risks if you go to an inexperienced acupuncturist. You might experience bleeding, bruising, soreness, infection, and even premature delivery if you are pregnant.

If you are also using a pacemaker, you should not go to an acupuncturist who uses electrical pulses. You will know if an acupuncturist is legitimate if the practitioner examines you first before performing the procedure. You should also asked for details regarding the procedure to know the risks.

What You Need to Know About Hypochondria

Did you know that there is a type of anxiety that causes a person to have serious fear of having an illness even if there is nothing wrong about them physically? It is normal for people to worry about getting sick, but for a hypochondriac, this worry is excessive, persistent, and can be debilitating.

What are the symptoms?

A person with hypochondria might focus on a particular illness, organ, or they could also fear various diseases. Symptoms exhibited include obsessive behavior such as talking excessively about an illness to family and friends, excessive worrying that he/she has an illness despite being cleared by doctors, regularly visiting the doctor because of minor abnormalities and even normal function like sweating or fast heartbeat, keen avoidance of places or food or activities that are associated with health risks, and expending a lot of energy learning about the disease/s.

In some cases, a hypochondriac might avoid going to the doctor for fear that they will be diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer. If these symptoms recur in six months or more, the person should be convinced to get help from a psychiatrist.

What triggers hypochondria?

The cause of hypochondria may be a result of a combination of different factors, just like any other anxiety disorder. A family history of the illness can influence a person’s outlook on body and health, as well as personal experiences of having survived or recently diagnosed with an illness. It can also be triggered by a near-death experience despite having been cleared by several doctors or it could start at a young age as a misunderstanding of how the body works.

In some cases, hypochondria is a result of a major life stress, a history of childhood illness or history of child abuse. Most patients who are diagnosed with hypochondria are also most likely to suffer from other psychiatric illnesses such as generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Can it be treated?

Although some patients with the disorder have been diagnosed with the illness they fear, sometimes the symptoms are mild and treatable. Treatment therefore should not address the illness they fear but the person’s psychological reaction. Treatment begins with the recognition of a family member or a loved one that the person needs professional help. This is to help the person keep functioning normally at work or school, home, and community; to ease the distress felt by the person; and to discourage the person from depleting the resources for the numerous hospital trips.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective way to address the problem, preferably with a doctor that the person knows and trusts. That’s because mistrust with other doctors who have previously cleared the patient of the real or imaginary disease can also be a factor during the treatment. Medication might not be necessary if the person does not suffer from other psychiatric illness.

What is Sleep Paralysis?

Ever had an experience when you could not move or speak even when you know you’re awake? Sleep paralysis is quite a common occurrence and may be triggered by different factors.

When does it happen?

There are two instances when sleeping paralysis can happen. Most people experience it when they are waking up from sleep or when they are about to fall asleep. Remember that there are stages the brain goes through when sleeping; that moment when you are about to final fall asleep is called predormital form, while that stage when you’re about to wake up is called postdormital form.

Some people who experience sleep paralysis more often than most have a condition called parasomnia and is associated with other symptoms that point to a sleeping disorder.

How does it happen?

When you go to sleep, your brain has to go through a phase called atonia to feel relaxed. But there are times when atonia happens while you are awake, that is why sleep paralysis happen specifically at those moments already mentioned above.

This is also why people who have experienced it tell you that they are aware of what is happening and are trying to do their best to move or speak. It can be scary, but most people have experienced sleep paralysis at least once, so it is not usually a sign that you have an illness.

Is it nightmare?

For most of human history, sleep paralysis was associated with nightmares. It was only when the stages of sleep were understood that the two were differentiated. Nightmares usually happen during slow-wave sleep, that is why most people having nightmares might be difficult to wake up because they are in deep sleep.

Nightmares also tend to happen in the early part of sleep, while sleep paralysis often occurs at morning or when the person is about to wake. Sleep paralysis tends to cause hallucinations, which is why it is often confused with nightmares.

These hallucinations make the person feel as if there is a threat around, such as ghosts, aliens, and monsters. There are also testimonies that people also go through an out-of-body experience during sleep paralysis or there is an entity sitting on their chest or abdomen.

How can it be prevented?

There is no proven method to prevent sleep paralysis, but there are things that you can do that might help you get better sleep overall. These include not falling asleep on your back, follow a regular sleeping schedule, learn to relax before sleeping, and to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.

If sleep paralysis happens often, you might want to consult a behavioral therapist to help you. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and mental distress.

If sleep paralysis happens often, you might want to consult a behavioral therapist to help you. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and mental distress.

What should you do when you experience it?

Even experts don’t know what to do when it happens but knowing that it is happening to you can help you calm down instead of panicking. Fortunately, it’s not dangerous, just scary.

Coffee Alternatives for Coffee Addicts

If your doctor ordered you to stop taking more caffeine and yet you need your coffee fix, you can substitute these healthy and filling options instead.

Water

Nothing beats clean water when you’re thirsty. It doesn’t have caffeine and added sugar after all. Drink at least half a gallon of water a day to fight off fatigue, hunger, and dehydration.

Tea

It still has caffeine, so you need to pick green tea instead of regular tea which ahs about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Green tea or matcha helps you concentrate at work because it has memory-enhancing properties. If green tea isn’t to your liking, there are other types of tea not made from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

Probiotic Drink

There are dozens of probiotic drinks to choose from in markets in Singapore. Not only do they taste good, but they are packed with the good stuff to help balance the bacteria in your digestive tract. You can substitute this healthy drink for coffee on your break time.

Sparkling Water

If you want something with more kick than plain water, sparkling water is your best bet. It is sugar-free, hydrating, and delicious as long as you choose varieties made with fruit extracts.

Coconut Water

Instead of coconut smoothies, choose coconut water which has natural sweeteners and is packed with enzymes and electrolytes to help you replenish lost nutrients after a hard day’s work. It’s not only a healthier substitute to coffee, it also works better than energy and sports drinks.

Hot Apple Cider

The tangy taste of the apple cider will remind you of coffee, plus it contains natural sweeteners and will help you feel energized in a lazy rainy morning.

Fruit or Vegetable Juice

You can’t go wrong with fruit or vegetable juices that are made from fresh products. They are easy to make, delicious, and contain less sugar than the juices sold at stores. It’s easy to create fruit juices at a home with only a few items in less than 10 minutes.

Fruit or Vegetable Smoothie

Have fun creating different smoothies from fresh fruits and vegetables, which are packed full of vitamins and nutrients you will not get in a cup of coffee. All you need to create a variety of smoothies is a food processor or blender and an ice maker.

Yerba Mate

This type of drink will remind you of tea and contains slightly less caffeine than coffee. It’s made from the leaves of the holly tree which contains natural caffeine. What’s great about it is that it can also be prepared in so many ways similar to how you make tea and coffee. This is a recommended substitute if you have caffeine sensitivity and jitters. It won’t make you less sleepy, but it almost has the same effect as coffee.

How Blue Light from Devices Hurts Your Eyes

While everybody already knows that too much exposure to sunlight and air pollution can affect us and it’s sometimes just better to stay indoors, not many people really understand that the same indoor environment can also be damaging to the skin and eyes.

This is because of blue light, which more studies are showing to be responsible for creating free radicals that can harm both skin and eyes much like ultraviolet light.

And because nearly all of our workdays are spent exposed to signficant amounts of it, the effects can compound and result in significant damage over time. But what exactly is blue light, and how exactly can it damage you?

Photodamage and Blue Light

Blue light is the light on one end of the visible spectrum that has the shortest wavelength, with yellow and red lights on the other end of that spectrum and having the longest wavelengths.

However, blue light has a really high energy, giving it the name “high-energy visible” light. This high-energy light usually comes from sunlight, but it can also come from the screens of different devices, such as computers and smartphones, as well as fluorescent lights commonly used in offices.

Negative Effects of Blue Light

While our eyes are capable of blocking out ultraviolet light, it’s not as good at blocking blue light. This means that it can have some pretty bad effects after exposure to significant amounts over time, such as the following:

  • It increases the risk of eye strain
  • It contributes to macular and retinal degeneration
  • It can cause uneven skin pigmentation

Reducing Blue Light Exposure

Keep in mind that not all blue light is bad, however – more studies are also showing that a certain amount of it is essential for good health. In fact, in the right levels, it can boost alertness as well as help with memory and cognitive functions.

What makes it bad is too much exposure, so the best thing you can do is to limit your exposure when you can in order to reduce the harmful effects that it can have. You can limit your exposure to blue light by using two things:

  • Using blue light filters on your devices – The good news is that there are now more devices that include a feature that filters the blue light emitted from the screen, especially in the case of smartphones and tablets. You can even have physical filters installed for your phones and computers installed for this purpose.
  • Investing in protective eyewear – Special pairs of glasses dedicated for use around computers have yellow lenses in order to decrease the wavelength of blue light, and they are usually available without a specific eyeglass prescription.

Your Guide to Eating Healthily During the Ramadan Season

It’s the time of the year where our Muslim brothers and sisters solemnly follow Ramadan. With roughly more than 15 percent of Singapore citizens practicing Islamic faith, the city-state celebrates the holy month of fasting along with the other countries in Southeast Asia.

When done right, it is believed that the celebration of Ramadan manifolds spiritual blessings together with tangible physical benefits to its followers. For instance, eating only healthy food choices while fasting resets the metabolism, sheds a good few pounds off the body, as well as lowers one’s cholesterol count.

Healthy eating during Ramadan can be quite a challenge but it does not mean rigidly following a boring, bland diet. Fasting is not a reason to eat with abandon, either, nor should it be according to Sunnah or the prophetic Islamic traditions. This article will present ways in which you can eat healthily during the holy month of fasting.

• Stagger hydration
During the summer season, dehydration can be the toughest part to overcome when fasting. Drinking lots of water is not much of a good plan as well since it would cost you multiple visits to the loo in the midst of prayer. Hence is why staggering your hydration through the night is a good way to keep yourself hydrated when you fast during the day. Avoid too much sun exposure to lessen moisture loss by sweating and limit your coffee and tea intake, as they only dehydrate the body further.

• Avoid sugar
As much as we crave sweet treats every now and then, avoid food that are high in sugar during your fast. Sweet treats only gives you empty calories without necessary nutritional benefits. Most of the time, it is also the culprit behind overeating during the Ramadan season. Substitute your sugar-filled snacks for fresh fruits instead.

• Incorporate fiber in your diet
With your irregular meal times and no morning dose of caffeine, constipation becomes one of the many issues people suffer during Ramadan. To prevent this, incorporate fiber in your meal plan to keep your gut moving. Fresh fruit, greens, and wheat-based food helps in boosting your fiber intake and promotes normal bowel movement.

• Use less oil
Hit the pause button on consuming greasy, oily food. Allocate fried foods only for very special occasions and resort to baking or grilling your meal, if possible. This kind of cooking preparation not only uses a lot less oil but they also provide the body with the nutrients that we need.

• Practice moderation
In line with the spirit of the fasting season, do not indulge yourself daily and limit your guilty pleasures to a once a week treat. Practice moderation. You are free to indulge in your Ramadan favorites like pakoras at iftar, but lessen unhealthy food intake to bite-size portions. That way, you can savor them longer instead of wolfing down platefuls of it.