Category: Health

How to get a Better Memory

A sound memory is important in our day to day lives. In order to achieve that, we need to keep the brain healthy. One great way to do that is to work out your brain muscles. By playing games that require strategy and critical thinking, you can exercise your brain to achieve better cognitive ability. Here are some tried and tested games to consider.

Strategy games

Research has proven that strategy games are a great way to exercise one’s mind. They involve deep concentration as one tries to find logical solutions to solve the presented problems. The gamer is forced to keep a lot of information in their mind and retrieve them at the right moments to help complete difficult tasks. This results in brain and memory stimulation at a higher degree.

Games such as chess and card games require players to try to recall best strategies to beat their opponents. By engaging the brain as you try to implement a great strategy, your mental acuity is boosted a great deal.

Numeracy Games and Exercises

Numeracy, the ability to understand and use numbers to solve problems, is a powerful cognitive skill. Numeracy-oriented games require you to hold a lot of detail, especially numbers, in your working memory, to help you accomplish different tasks. Therefore, by playing them continually, you can strengthen your working memory a great deal. This has an immense impact on your memory strength and capacity. Common games in this segment include Sudoku, Connect 10, and Rapid math.

Jigsaw Puzzles

These games offer a great way to improve your short term memory. As you try to connect the matching pieces, the connections between your brain cells become stronger. This, in turn, improves your mental speed. Jigsaw puzzles also require long hours of paying attention, which helps to lengthen your attention span. Therefore, you will be able to concentrate and learn more hence be able to remember more.

Note that these games improve memory as long as they challenge you. Once the game becomes too easy, upgrade to a tougher one to make the learning progressive.

The benefits of learning new things throughout your life

This fast-paced rapidly changing world requires us to never stop learning and always be critical. Careers and jobs depend on the ability to learn. People learn new skills for different reasons. It might be to keep up with the ever-changing technology or to benefit from newly developed techniques. The benefits of learning a new skill go beyond the actual skill.

Economic benefits

We live in a learning economy. Many jobs that require static knowledge continue to shift to machines. This sees people change jobs many times. Even when you do not change your job, the nature of work shifts as time passes. Learning constantly helps you thrive economically.

Cognitive benefits

Constant learning has many psychological benefits. For instance, learning to play poker improves a group of mental processes. It improves memory, attention, decision-making and problem-solving. Active learning combined with good diet, enough sleep and exercise will help your brain to work well.

Intellectual benefits

Constant learning increases your knowledge. You can apply the knowledge in different meaningful ways. Your mind becomes enhanced and you can spot and appreciate new opportunities. When you learn constantly, you live deliberately and consciously as opposes to being guided by the desires of others, emotions or instinct.

Social benefits

The process of learning is highly social. It sparks social engagement. People connect with others with the intention of learning from them. It helps create social connections even without realizing. Strong social connection often translates to a happier life. Learning gives you diverse perceptions. It becomes easy to adapt to change.

Spiritual benefits

Learning gives you focus and purposes. It helps bring a sense of fulfillment. This shows that learning feeds the spirit.

The benefits of lifelong learning are many. The more you learn, the more you can make connections between different skills. When it becomes a habit, you get to learn skills fast as your brains have neural pathways ready for new impulses. Regardless of its application, learning a new skill can only help you.

Health benefits of sunlight

A lack of sunlight doesn’t just put you in a less cheery mood. It can actually have surprising health effects. Sunlight is necessary for human well-being — it’s a major factor in mood and in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, and we also need plenty of sunlight on our skin to make Vitamin D.

Today’s lifestyles often make it difficult to get sufficient sunlight, impacting health in various ways: vitamin D deficiences, mood disorders such as depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and a weakened immune system. Here are some techniques and products that can help you compensate for the lack of sunlight.

Vitamin D supplementation is highly recommended for people who work indoors for most of the day, especially in colder northern climes where there’s less sunlight. Vitamin D3 supplements are easily available — for preference, use a sublingual spray which is absorbed into your body more rapidly. On the topic of supplementation, some SAD sufferers note that they feel better when they supplement with melatonin, a natural substance that’s involved in sleep. Research is divided over the effectiveness of this supplement but it has many fans.

Artificial lighting can be tweaked to produce some of the same effects as sunlight. Daylight bulbs are a quick and easy way to lift your mood; brighter than normal bulbs, they have a colour frequency range that’s intended to be closer to natural sunlight. There are also SAD lamps which are intended to have a similar but stronger effect. Innovators such as Parans are taking things a step further and creating entire indoor lighting systems to address sun deficiency and promote everyday health.

Sunlight bulbs and SAD lamps should not be confused with systems that provide ultraviolet light. Used with care, UV lamps can help your body produce vitamin D. Caution is important here as UV can cause sunburn and may contribute to melanoma later in life.

Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

Health Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

What are Yoga and Meditation?

Yoga is an ancient eastern practice founded in India thousands of years ago, which promotes physical, emotional and mental wellbeing through movement, stretching and mindful breathing techniques. Meditation is one of the key tools used in yoga to help quiet the mind. Although medical studies are few, anecdotal evidence, coupled with a number of compelling small studies indicate that regular yoga practice and meditation can produce many positive health benefits.

Physical Health Benefits

There are many forms of yoga, from gentle slow stretching, to more difficult and complex styles. Consequently, it is a type of activity which anyone can do; young and old, able bodied and those with limited mobility. As it is often a weight-bearing exercise, it can increase muscle and bone mass as well as promote flexibility and provide a cardiovascular workout.

Mental Health Benefits

Breathing techniques and meditation are an important part of yoga practice. Learning to breath properly and fully oxygenate the body has proven to reduce anxiety and promote a feeling of wellbeing. Meditation is a process of clearing the mind and finding silence, which in turn may help reduce stress and some forms of depression.

Emotional Health Benefits

Yoga and meditation, practiced over time, have been proven to increase the natural serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin can improve mood and outlook as well as promoting a healthy sleeping pattern which may in turn reduce the need for some medications.

Health Benefits of Creating a Home Gym

Creating a home gym can have many health benefits. The rewards go beyond a healthy body – you also get to enjoy a strong mind. The positive effects will flow into other areas, including your work and relationships.

The best part is, you can get started relatively easily. All that you need is to dedicate some space to the purpose. You can begin with basic equipment such as dumbbells and a pull-up bar. If you want a more gentle work out, a yoga mat and some blocks give you a perfect set up. The following are a few reasons why you should have a gym at home.

A home gym increases the frequency of your workouts

Nobody likes to roll out of bed and drive to the gym in the cold morning weather. However, if you have a gym at home, that ordeal is skipped entirely! As a result, you are more likely to keep up with your workout routing.

It also becomes easier to make exercise part of your daily routine. This can directly influence your other habits, such as your diet. You will also save travel time – you can put that right back into your workout regime.

Your mind gets more focused

What you surround yourself with has an effect on your well-being. Just knowing that you have a gym at home will put your mind in a stronger frame. This will make you more effective at work. You’ll also see a positive improvement in your relationships.

Your body will get stronger at a consistent rate

The most important benefit of creating a home gym is consistency. You can fit in workouts that last just a few minutes. Or, you could have a regular long session. It’s all up to you. The key here is, you’ll be able workout on a consistent basis. As a result, you will see your body get stronger over time. You’ll also be able to maintain the results.

Remember to have fun as well. Having a gym can be an exciting way to spend your time. Enjoy it by yourself or with friends and family. Your home gym is an effective step towards becoming a healthier person.

Running or weights – which to chose?

Running and weight training are two of the most commonly enjoyed fitness activities. It can be tricky, especially as a newcomer to fitness, to decide which of the two activities is of more use. The answer is that they both bring benefits, and you should not exclude either entirely from your fitness regime.

Your age also plays a key part in deciding whether running is for you or not. Pounding pavements once you are over 30 years of age can cause injury, and you need to be careful. Many older fitness enthusiasts use their bikes or rowing machines rather than going running, as this helps to keep them injury free. For younger people, though, running is a great way of burning fat and building some serious endurance.

Weight training will not burn as many calories as going for a run, but it can be just as valuable a fitness tool. Older people will often gain more benefit from a weights session than from a run. Weight training is an effective way of building muscle, and muscle burns more calories when at rest than other types of tissue, such as fat.

The ideal exercise routine mixes cardio and strength activities to provide a balance. The choice should not be seen as being either running or weights, but rather how can you incorporate elements of both into your fitness routine. As with all fitness activities, the key is to balance effectiveness with risk of injury. Both running and weights offer great benefits, but you need to consider your age and your fitness aims before you make a choice between them.

Ways to get rid of heartburn

Heartburn is one of the most common causes of indigestion. Also, few of us know how to properly treat it or prevent it from recurring. Fortunately, there are easy remedies to relieve a heartburn.


Here are ways to get rid of a heartburn:

Apple cider vinegar

Vinegar has a PH of 5. When taken, it lowers the PH of stomach contents and improves digestion. It helps reduce the pressure build up which you intend to avoid. Unfiltered brands of apple cider vinegar contain probiotics thereby offering added benefits.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a base, therefore when taken, it neutralizes the acid in your stomach. It has additional health benefits and is non-toxic. Athletes, for example, take it as a supplement to help them train for longer and harder.

Lemon juice

Lemon has a PH of 2. Not only does it help with heartburn but it also supplements your body with nutrients. It is stronger than vinegar and contains vitamin C. Take at least two glasses of lemon juice to help with your heartburn.

Ginger

Ginger is an excellent heartburn remedy. Ginger helps soothe your stomach and assists with digestion. It Is used in its freshly ground form in drinks such as tea or you may choose to chew a few chunks. The gingerol in ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Medication

There are a number of over the counter prescriptions which help with heartburn. These include antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors(PPIs). The medication neutralizes the acid and helps lower the amount of acid your stomach makes.
Finally,keep track of the foods that trigger your heartburn and omit them from your diet. Such foods may include chocolate, beer, wine, spicy foods and caffeine.

Eat to get Better Health

Our diets can play a large role in our overall health and well-being, and eating the right foods can help us to enjoy better health.

Eating a wide variety of foods can help us enjoy good health and protect us from diseases. A variety of foods means eating a range of foods from each of the five main food groups, and eating them in the quantities recommended. A variety of foods from the five groups provides our bodies with all of the nutrients it needs to remain healthy.

The five food groups are:

  • Grains, consisting of whole grain and high fibre cereals.
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables and legumes
  • Lean meats including poultry and fish. Or alternatives including seeds, tofu, nuts and beans
  • Dairy, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, opting for low-fat options where possible

Eating a variety of foods is known as having a ‘balanced diet’. A balanced diet provides our bodies with all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs, whilst offering a variety so you don’t become bored with your diet.

Whilst eating the right foods can help us achieve a healthy lifestyle, so can limiting foods. There are some foods that do not fit into the five food groups, because our body does not need them. These foods should only be eaten occasionally as they do not offer much in the way of benefit to our health and can lead to obesity or other diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or leave us deficient in essential vitamins or minerals. Examples include biscuits, cakes, processed meats, chocolate and sweets, and foods high in saturated fat.

Brain Workout: Exercises and Tricks That Train Your Brain

Brain workouts can help maintain your cognitive function and performance. Keeping your mind active can also stimulate the growth of brain cells. There are many exercises that you can engage in to keep your brain active. Below are some of them.

Solve Math Problems Without a Pen or Paper

Working out math problems in your head can help keep your brain alert. There are many sites with math problems that you can solve as you take an evening walk. These problems can be simple; they are just meant to keep your brain engaged regularly.

Play Games of Strategy

Games of strategy like poker require you to be alert and objective. People who play these games have to follow winning strategies and logic. They cannot be swayed by emotions since they will end up losing the games.

Sudoku

Sudoku is a number game that requires you to fill a 9 by 9 grid with numbers. The game involves logic. You can play Sudoku on your phone, internet or even traditional paper books and newspapers. If you play the game on your phone, you should set the difficulty to your desired level.

Brush Your Teeth with Your Non-dominant Hand

Using your non-dominant hand more often helps to strengthen the neural connections. You should use it to write, operate your phone and even control the mouse.

Change Your Routine Regularly

New activities and routines help to stimulate your mind and keep it active. You can change your morning routine to include more activities or just switch up the items in your schedule. For example, if you take breakfast before showering, you can alternate the two actions so your brain doesn’t get used to a specific habit.

Conclusion

There are many benefits of exercising your brain. Some of these are an increased level of creativity and open-mindedness. To experience these benefits, you should try the exercises listed above.

Wholesome Ways to Be Healthier In Everyday Life

Being healthy is a common goal for pretty much all of us. However, not all of us can spend the time at a gym or are able to put in hours of creating wholesome meals. With this in mind we offer a few simple ways that can boost your health levels, with not too much effort on your part.

The simplest thing here is sleeping. Skipping sleep can be detrimental for your health in more ways than one. In fact there are links that suggest skipping sleep and that relaxation period, can increase the chance of heart attacks. Of course there are other effects to not sleeping that will simply affect daily judgment such as skipping a workout or choosing sugary foods over a healthier option.

Vitamin D is a simple thing that you may not be getting enough of. Low levels of vitamin D can affect brain function, lower muscle mass and even increase the risk of diabetes. To get more vitamin D, people can simply take pills, or alternatively make sure they get enough sunlight. Sunlight touching the skin does promote Vitamin D production. Some of you may be thinking it is hard to get sunlight exposure when at work but Parans has introduced a new technique, which captures sunlight, and funnels it throughout the building, providing sunlight to all areas.

For those of you who do like a good workout, push those work outs a little bit longer by working out to some music. Upbeat tunes have been proven to help people workout up to 15% longer. Chocolate too has beneficial aspects to it. A small amount of chocolate can reduce heart disease, though of course this should still be kept in moderation with the rest of the diet.