“HoW CaN i ReLaX wHeN i FeEl ThIs WaY?!!”


Feeling like this lately??

Living a healthy life means feeling emotionally strong. These days we, as individuals lead such busy lives that even 24 hours feel short in a day! Hectic work and home lives have caused us to have a lot of STRESS in our lives. How we deal with stress is a completely different matter. So, I thought it would be beneficial to have a set of classes which explain what stress is and how to manage it. If you are interested, then just like this post or leave a comment. Here is what the classes will comprise of.

  1. CLASS 1: What is Stress? The physical and emotional responses to stress.
  2. CLASS 2: Identifying the sources.
  3. CLASS 3: Unhealthy ways of coping with stress.
  4. CLASS 4: Dealing with stress: the four ‘A’s.
  5. CLASS 5: How you can use fun and relaxation to combat stress.
  6. CLASS 6: How different foods can help you fight stress.

Classes begin tomorrow…Learn how to de-stress your life and to enjoy it to the fullest!!

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“Raindrops on Roses; Whiskers on Kittens”


Remember this iconic song?? I loved this song when I was a child and would start singing it anytime of the day and somehow it always cheered me up! Today, all of a sudden this song popped into my head when I wasn’t feeling all that well. Now…I feel all perked up and ready to go and hence I am writing this blog.

Music can do that to you. It has been known to have the most therapeutic healing power. Ever tried listening to your favourite song when you are feeling low? Or stressed? Or angry? Now try and remember how you felt afterwards…there must have been a significant difference.

It has been thought that music affects the right hemisphere of the brain; the hemisphere which controls the cognitive and emotional functions.

Today, why don’t you try and listen to your favourite song and see how it makes you feel.

Today’s tip from MyHealthIm: Listen to Music when you feel tired; stressed; angry; tensed; or even a little low and feel the difference sweep over you. Have fun listening to my favourite song today and sing along!

Did you like today’s blog? Please leave a comment/like this post. Also come join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MyHealthIM

INTERESTING HEALTH FACTS!


Enjoy reading some interesting health facts that I have found along the way recently.

  1. Women have a better sense of smell than men
  2. The human brain has the capacity to store everything that you experience.
  3. You are using 200 muscles when youtake a step.
  4. Fidgeting can burn around 350 calories a day (If someone now tells you to stop fidgeting…you can tell them that you are losing 350 Calories!!)
  5. Smokers get 10 times more wrinkles than non-smokers.
  6. Remember my last post “LOL!!” Here is an interesting fact about Laughing Out Loud- You decrease the amounts of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine by a single burst of laughter.
  7. After the age of 30, your brain shrinks 0.25% in mass every year.
  8. Human brain has been shown to use as much energy as a 10 Watt light bulb.
  9. Drinking less water has been proven to be the number one cause of daytime fatigue.
  10. Wearing headphones for an hour increases your chances of getting bacteria by 700%!
  11. The lifespan of a taste bud is ten days.
  12. Every time you think of smoking that cigarette…remember this fact. You decrease your lifespan by 5 minutes every time you smoke which is equivalent to the time you used to smoke it.
  13. Your tongue is the only muscle in your body which is attached at one end. Every other muscle has a starting point and an ending point.
  14. It takes about 20 seconds for a red blood cell to circle your entire body.
  15. Humans are born with 300 bones but die with 206 bones. Why? As a baby some bones are cartilage which is soft and flexible but overtime they harden to become bone. Also, some bones fuse together which is part of a normal growth process.
  16. Your ribcage moves at least 5 million times a year…that is every time you breathe.
  17. There are more bacteria in your mouth
  18. The lens of the eyes continues to grow throughout a person’s life.
  19. The human heart circulates blood with enough pressure that it could squirt it to 30 ft.
  20. One quarter of the brain is used to control the eyes.

So did you have fun reading these interesting facts? If you did and would like to read more, please leave a comment/like this post. Also come join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MyHealthIM

“LOL!!”


 

                                                                                    

Anytime we find something funny, we write this three lettered word “LOL”. Today (and afterwards as well), MyHealthIm’s aim is to bring out that laughter in you by posting some jokes and funny images so that all of you can have a hearty laugh. For today we would like to let you know why laughing is so beneficial to a healthy living (Only for today!).

Laughter reduces that in built tension, stress, pain and conflict. A small joke or hearing something funny in a day can lighten your burden, inspire you, ground you and even keep you connected to others.

Here are the benefits of Laughter:

1.     Physical benefits of Laughter:

  • Boosts immunity by reducing stress hormones. Laughter increases the infection fighting cells in your body and therefore keeps infections at bay.
  • It boosts the levels of endorphins in your body which are your body’s natural way of promoting an over-all sense of well being.
  • Laughter can protect your heart by increasing the function of blood vessels and thus increasing blood flow. This prevents many cardiovascular diseases.

2. Mental Health Benefits:

  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Enhances your mood
  • Laughter and humour (in reasonable limits) allows you to look at your distressing situation in a less threatening perspective. It creates a psychological distance from the problem at hand and makes you look at your problem from a different angle and find a solution.

3. Social Benefits of Laughter:

  • Strengthens relationships: Sharing a laugh with a loved one makes you feel closer to them.
  • Helps you relax and recharge. It allows for you to stay focused and accomplish more

 So enjoy today’s jokes and wait for many more to come in this section of “fun” provided by MyHealthIm. Share the “LOL” around and share some with us!!

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SMALL PACKAGES OF JOYS


 Today while having my cup of coffee, I was standing by the window. Looking down from my condo window, I saw a car-parked by this little garden we have enclosed. Nothing to be jumping around for…I agree. But all of a sudden, I saw a small puppy run towards the car, stand up on its two tiny legs, look through the window of the car and run out into the garden again. The puppy did this for as long as the owner did not put it back in the car and drive away. Seeing that from my condo window brought a smile to my face and now while writing this, I am smiling again.

Tip for the day from MyHealthIm: Don’t wait for big things to happen to bring a smile to your face. Enjoy the small things in life, it will feel more fuller and satisfying.

Here is a list of a few things that bring a smile to my face (and many more would be added!)

  • When my husband empties the dishwasher for me in the morning. Always a surprise for me and brings a sweet smile.
  • Receiving a smile from a stranger for no reason. (There is no reason to think that there is something wrong with you…this is where our mind automatically goes to). Smile at someone…you just might make someone else’s day.
  • While walking to work and enjoying the Christmas decorations on the way. Such a joyous moment…how can you not enjoy it?
  • Seeing the fall colors recently. Many associate it with “Old Man Winter” and feel sad but I was just enjoying the bright colors of the leaves.
  • Receiving a hug from someone dear to you. Instead of thinking “what is up with you today?” Just embrace it and enjoy.
  • I love the rain..so when it rains, I just feel very happy.
  • Enjoying that dessert like there was no tomorrow….hmmm…makes me want to have one now!
  • Finding that extra money where you least expect to.

A small list of things that has recently made me smile. We all lead busy lives and forget the small moments of happiness that just pass us by. I believe we all should take a moment, stop and look around…put down those phones which have us under their “spells” and enjoy the small things in life. I created my list today, maybe you can start creating your own.

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GET UP AND GO!


A recent article in New York Times dated May 25th, 2011 by Tara-Parker Pope revealed how our sedentary lifestyles at work have resulted in individuals gaining weight in the last five decades. To read her complete article, please click on the link provided http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/less-active-at-work-americans-have-packed-on-pounds/

One of the main reasons that this article states in individuals gaining weight in the recent years, is sitting in front of our laptops for as long as 8 hours in a day (which makes it a whole working day!). Not only that, when we come back home from work, we are so tired and exhausted because of the pressures we face at work  that we would sit in front of our televisions and fall asleep on our couches. So…what have we done the whole day?? Sit, Sit and Sit…

When was the necessary movement done to improve our overall health and not gain weight? Hmmm….nowhere. Some of us are dedicated…we would come back home from work and give ourselves that 45 minute-one hour workout necessary for our body to function adequately. Most of us…are too tired to do otherwise. I don’t blame the “most of us” as work pressures have increased tremendously in the last few years and in order to protect our jobs, we work overtime.

So what can the “most of us” do? A simple solution is WALKING. Just walking for 15 minutes can be a good start and can be done just about anywhere. For example, need that coffee break? Instead of going to the coffee shop which is on the ground floor, find one which is 5 minutes away. So let’s do a quick calculation…1 minute to walk to the elevator+ 5 minutes to get to the coffee shop+ 5 minutes to come back to the office+ 1 minute to the elevator which equals to 12 minutes of a walk! Not bad for a start. Once you get used to this routine, you would automatically find ways to increase your walking time.

  

So what are some benefits of walking anyway? Here are a few important ones:

You can reduce your risk of Type II diabetes by walking 150 minutes in a week by a whopping 58%!

Walking improves your brain function. Researchers have found that individuals who walk 1.5 hours in a day have improved cognitive function than individuals who walked less than 45 minutes in a day. Think about that…this means increased efficiency at work!

Walking reduces bone loss from your legs.

Walking will also free you from those stressed back pains and aches as you would move your muscles in release the build up tension.

Walking will keep you in good physical shape when you grow older resulting in a healthier lifestyle.

MyHealthIm would like to provide some tips on how you can increase your walking:

  • If you drive to work, then park a few blocks away and walk to work.
  • Take the subway instead of driving. This way, you would probably have to walk to work and/or take the bus in addition.
  • Try picking up that coffee 5 minutes away from work. We all need that 15 minute break in between…let’s put it to good use.
  • If your work place is say on the 2nd floor and does not require you to take the elevator…take the flight of stairs up.
  • After coming back home from work, try making it a point to walk for at least 10 minutes after dinner. Go out and get some fresh air…you will enjoy it.
  • Early morning walks are the best as the air is at its purest. If possible, try to get up a little early and enjoy that fresh air. I guarantee you, that you will feel more refreshed in the morning.

And hence the title of today’s blog “GET UP AND GO!” If you liked this blog, please leave a comment and share. Also come join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MyHealthIM

“I GET ANNOYED AND UPSET QUICKLY!!”


 

No one person can deny that they have not felt anger- a response to various physical or emotional stimuli when we feel things are getting out of our control. Everyone has different ways of dealing with their anger but sometimes it can become destructive- it can destroy personal relationships, affect individuals at work and affect the overall quality of life. Why should someone reach that stage of destructiveness when there are various strategies out there to help you control your anger so that you can lead a healthy lifestyle.

TIP #1:  KNOW WHAT TRIGGERS YOUR ANGER:

Psychologists believe that individuals who get angry very quickly should learn to identify what triggers their anger. For example, someone cuts you off in traffic. Rate this from a scale of 1-5 with “1” being “doesn’t affect me that much” to “5” being “I would like to punch that person in face”. If your score ranges from 3-5, it would be considered unhealthy anger and you might need assistance in the form of anger management classes. But, the first thing is to identify the triggers.

TIP #2: RELAXATION:

Simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and guided visual imagery have been known to counter the feelings of anger.  This would require you to move away from the triggering situation and doing the following

  • Deep breathing:  close your eyes and take deep breaths from your diaphragm. Start counting back from 100 till you feel calm
  • Guided Visual Imagery: For this you will need to think of a place which calms you down. For example, by the beach or in the of your room where you might feel safe. Close your eyes and picture yourself there. Start counting back from 100 till you feel calm. (Key is to always visualize a place where you feel safe in)

 TIP #3: BE WATCHFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY:

In moments of heated angers, words might come out as “blades of steel” wherein you might say things that you do not mean and in the process hurt your loved ones. Think before you speak and rationalize your thoughts- I know “easier said than done” but this takes time learning. Hear what the other person is saying before jumping to your conclusions and becoming defensive. Our first response is always to defend ourselves but sometimes it is okay to let your guard down and hear what the other has to say.

TIP #4: PROBLEM SOLVING:

All of us as humans have this innate tendency to find solutions to our problems because as children, that is what we are taught “Every problem has a solution”. This might not be the case always which causes us to become frustrated and angry. The key is to always remember that not every problem has a solution right away and that these problems can be solved at a later date or time. Keeping that in mind…you might not feel tthe anger that gets out of control.

TIP #5: CHANGING YOUR ENVIRONMENT:

If you feel that your anger might result in someone getting hurt either emotionally or physically- REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THAT SITUATION. It is better to leave immediately so that you can calm yourself down and think through the problem at hand rationally.

*These are only tips that MyHealthIm can provide to their followers. But if you think that your anger requires help- please call for assistance and enrol yourself in anger management classes. You might need more help than we can offer in the form of Cognitive Restructuring which in simple words means “changing the way you think” which can only be provided by therapists.

Do not feel afraid to call out for help- it is a part of healthy living and will improve your overall quality of help.

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TOP FIVE REASONS TO “BREAK THE FAST”


  

Missing Breakfast lately? With many of us leading very busy lifestyles, we wouldn’t mind getting those extra few minutes of sleep in the morning. On the way to work, we would probably realize that we are hungry and pick up a coffee and a doughnut or go through our bags and search for that Granola bar. Rightly so…we feel energized for the first 2 hours or so and then comes the “sugar crash” as I would like to call it and we reach out again for that “sweet something” to keep us energized till lunch.

MyHealthIm believes that having a good breakfast can keep us energized throughout the day and here are the TOP FIVE REASONS why one should not skip the MOST IMPORTANT meal of the day as it is rightly called so.

 AS THE NAME SUGGESTS: “BREAK-THE-FAST”

Our body in the night to rest itself, slows down the metabolism rate. This results in fewer calories being burned. Once you wake up, in order for this metabolism to be kick-started again, the body needs “fuel” and this is provided by the first meal of the day- Breakfast.

LOOSE WEIGHT QUICKLY!

Many people think that this is a Myth. How can you lose weight if you eat a hearty breakfast in the morning? As we read above, your metabolism gets a boost and hence brings it to how it should be functioning. Also, when you decide to skip breakfast, come Lunch time…you would be so hungry that you would be eating double of what you should be eating leading to an increase in calories. So, if you are looking to lose weight Eat Breakfast.

DO BETTER AT WORK OR SCHOOL

Numerous studies have shown that eating breakfast keeps you alert throughout the day. You would be able to stay focused and on task because the body has received the necessary fuel in the morning to perform at its best. Skipping breakfast on the other hand would cause you to feel tired and lethargic and affect your performance.

 ALLOWS YOU TO EAT CERTAIN MEALS YOU MAY NOT.

Breakfast would be the only time when you would be able to grab those needed fibres (in the form of cereals); Calcium (in the form of milk) or Vitamin C (in the form of juices)- the necessary nutrients for your body.

 IMPROVES YOUR MOOD.

Many studies have shown that eating breakfast can keep you from getting “grouchy” and set the mood for the day. If you are low on sugar or other nutrients in the day, you would make choices that would not necessarily be healthy resulting in weight gain instead of weight loss.

From MyHealthIm to all its followers Eat Breakfast and Live Healthy!

A TURTLE AND SKY STORY


As part of a healthy lifestyle, I thought it would be a fun activity to recall some memorable experiences from my life. After all, these memories always bring a smile to my face.

I have been very fortunate to have lived in many places in the world. This experience takes place in Muscat, Oman almost over 18 years ago. Now, not many know that some of the world’s largest turtles come to Oman to lay their eggs.

 

My parents decided to visit this small town called Ras-Al Junaiz to see these turtles lay their eggs. At that point in time, there were no tours that took us to see these turtles. It was untouched- Nature at its purest. We drove from Muscat, I believe for almost 2-3 hours to one of my father’s friend’s place. A relatively small house out in the nowhere right next to the ocean.

 As a child, I was so excited that I asked the host if we could go immediately. He said that it was too early for the turtles to come as there was still daylight and we would have to wait till night.

I was not aware that “night” meant 3 a.m. in the night. Sleepy, grouchy yet still excited…we started walking towards the beach. While walking, I happened to look up in the sky and what I saw is the image that has stayed in my mind till now and probably would forever. I had never ever in my life (and have not yet) seen a blanket of stars covering the mountains and the ocean. I believe I tripped a couple of times because I could not get my eyes off the sky! Can you imagine….looking up at the unpolluted sky with the noise of breaking waves in the background?

Now, we walked at the beach for almost an hour without seeing a turtle- disappointment was setting in. The host told us that it was time to head back home as it was almost daylight and no turtles would come now. Disappointment had set in.

While walking back still disappointed, our host suddenly stopped us. We spotted a turtle making its way out of the sea! The thrill of seeing this turtle was beyond words. The turtle moved slowly towards the shore and we followed….and she started digging. We sat a few feet away from her so that we did not disturb her from laying her eggs. I remember seeing her digging and digging, laying eggs and covering them back with sand. After doing so, she decided to take a stroll on the beach. All I wanted to do was touch her and I got my chance. Now, it was time for her to leave. We stood there watching her go.

 

Dawn was upon us. The stars vanished and we headed back to the house. On our way back, we saw little baby turtles all over the beach. I thought to myself…what a long journey they have ahead of them. They have to fight off predators, find food and learn to stay alive- The survival of the fittest in its true sense.

It has been over 18 years since this incident occurred but in my mind…as fresh as ever. Memories can have that affect on you…So go ahead and remember something that brought a smile to your face as part of your daily healthy lifestyle!

TRUE OR FALSE: “AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY?”


So is there any truth to this? We have all heard this since we were children and pass this very iconic phrase onto our next generations as well. It has been used numerous times to blackmail little children into eating their “fruit” so as to avoid visiting the doctor. As adults, do we still “believe” that eating an apple a day does keep the doctor away?

An Apple has a lot of beneficial properties which can help you in many ways.

1.     They contain “Vitamin C” which speeds up cell production giving you a radiant and glowing skin. They also contain Vitamin B5 and B9 which give the added benefit of fighting acne. So Ladies…grab an apple a day and take advantage of this natural beauty enhancer!

2.     The skin of apples contains “Antioxidants” which fight off toxins in your body. They are believed to defend the body from cancer and cardiovascular diseases (heart problems)

3.     Eating one apple a day gives you 15% of your recommended daily dietary fiber need. The fibers present in the apple are known to reduce and keep the LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels under control.

Most of the benefits of the apple lie in its skin. It is recommended to eat the apples with their skin on in order to get their true benefit.

I guess in the end “An Apple a day WOULD keep the doctor away” Like this post and pass on the message!