Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

3 October 2017

5 Tips to Improve Your Reproductive Health

Whether you have an interest in conceiving with your partner or you want to live a healthier lifestyle, it is important to take care of all aspects of your health. Often times people think about weight loss, becoming fit, or eating healthier but there are many other aspects to one’s overall wellness that can positively or negatively impact one’s quality of life. This article will focus on how you can take care of your reproductive health so that when you are ready to bear a child, your body will be able to do so.

  1. STD Testing. Regardless of your relationship status, if you are sexually active, you should get tested for STD’s at least once a year. If you are a woman, getting tested can be as easy as asking your doctor to do an extra swab during your annual obgyn appointment. If you do not have annual check-ups, you can still get an STD test from your doctor or even online. Checking for diseases can alert you to potential problems that you may have while trying to conceive. Some diseases do not have symptoms so they can be around for a long period of time without you knowing. Clearing up any potential diseases can help you conceive quicker.

  1. Track your cycle. Knowing your cycle can help you feel connected to your body and will allow you to be in tune with yourself in a way that is empowering. Knowing your cycle will help you pinpoint certain parts of the month where you may feel tired, crave chocolate, or experience an acne breakout and help you prepare for these times in your cycle. Not to mention, when these things happen you can practice self-compassion instead of passing judgement on to yourself as to why your body is acting the way that it is.

  1. Choose a birth control method that works well for you. At your annual appointment with your doctor, be sure to discuss your birth control method and how it working for you. If you take an oral contraceptive, be sure to ask about the latest prescriptions and share any side effects you have experienced from the one you currently take. Perhaps there is a new release that could be a better option for you. By talking to your doctor, you can learn about new birth control options so that you can always make the best decision for today and your future.

  1. Drink water. Hydrating your body is imperative to living a healthy lifestyle. Believe it or not, drinking enough water can also help you stay lubricated during sexual activity and will help with conceiving if that is your goal.

  1. Take care of yourself. Yes, it is important to visit your doctor annually and participate in STD screenings from time to time, but it is also important to practice self-care and have high standards of hygiene. Keeping yourself clean and fresh is important to staying healthy and free of illness.

9 May 2017

How being healthy affects your health insurance

There have been ongoing debates among people, healthcare providers, and insurance companies about the cost of insurance and the rates in which people pay depending on their lifestyle. While some feel that it is not fair to charge higher rates for people with certain habits that could be detrimental to one’s health in the long run, others feel that everyone, regardless of their lifestyle and habits, should pay the same price. This article will identify some lifestyle choices that could cause your insurance premiums to increase and how being healthy can lower your insurance rates.

If you are considered medically overweight or obese either by choice or caused by illness, you have a higher chance of experiencing a serious health condition such as a stroke or heart attack. Because this could be a great expense for the health care provider, as well as yourself, the insurance company will need to charge you a higher premium as it will cost them more to insure you. If you are in this situation, there are resources to assist in helping you get on track to getting healthier and being more active. Making small changes such as taking a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood every evening, can make a big difference.

Since we got my little Simba, I have been taking him a walk every day and I noticed over the weekend that my clothing had gotten looser. I never weigh myself as a rule as I refuse to be number obsessed, but on checking the scale to what I remembered I had been last, I had lost half a stone.

Drinking alcohol
If you love to drink alcohol after a stressful day at work and you do so on a regular basis, this could create health problems for you in the long run. Alcohol can greatly affect organs in your body, such as the liver, which can be costly to repair. Again, insurance companies will need to take a greater financial risk to insure you and therefore they will pass that extra expense on to you as the patient.

For years research has demonstrated that smokers have a higher chance of experiencing lung cancer, gum cancer, asthma, or emphysema due to consistent smoking. While these ailments can cost you your life, they also cost the insurance company a great deal to provide you coverage. While your health insurance premiums may be more expensive because you are a smoker, there are ways in which you can remedy this issue. Many health insurance companies have teamed up with health care providers to offer smoking cessation programs to help you reduce and even quit the habit of smoking. Some of these programs are even free and do not cost you anything but your time and effort.

The reason that these lifestyle choices could cause an increase in health insurance costs is that they can potentially cause the patient to need medical care that would otherwise most likely not be needed if they were not participating in these identified unhealthy activities. As the cost of care increases, the cost of insurance will also increase. If you are concerned about the cost of healthcare insurance, there are resources to assist you in making a positive change. When you begin to live a healthier lifestyle, you can check in with your insurance company, here and request a new quote without a problem.

*Collaborative piece

16 March 2017

Gone in a Puff of Smoke

I turned 38 last week.  Although I have luckily inherited my mum's genes and tend to look younger than I am (except first thing in the morning when I look 70 haha), I am more conscious as I get older than I need to take better care of my skin and my health.

The grey hairs that start to appear, quickly vanished by the hair dye.  That wrinkle under your eye that appeared overnight that you pray will disappear when you wake up properly.  Not having as much energy.  Slowly and surely, they all start to come into play.  The sands of time never stop moving.

There are of course ways that you can role back some of those effects.  One of them is taking better care of your skin, not relying on face wipes (I know, I know) and pale soap and water instead of a regular cleanse, tone and moisturiser routine.  When you treat skin well, it repays you.  I can practically hear it saying thank you when I apply my Clinique moisturiser.

Another way to keep your skin and hair looking as youthful as you can is by watching what you are putting into your body.  In this case, it is the toxins of cigarettes.

Turning 38 is only two years away from being 40.  An age where I never thought that I would still smoke.  Having quit for two years before, I know that I can do it.  I remember the benefits gained from quitting smoking that was not just my bank balance.

Food was tastier.  A fresher complexion.  My hair looked shinier.  I woke up earlier and felt like I had so much more energy.

So this week, I am going to bite the bullet again.  

Last time I used the cold turkey method but my life is different now.  I am pulled in many different directions and have many more things that want my time and my attention.  I do not have the energy to commit to the hell of cold turkey.  This needs to be a slower process.

So this time, I am going to go down the vaping route. 

As I have an upcoming holiday, I thought it wise to check out whether vaping is allowed in the two countries that I can going to this year.  This guide to vaping and travelling has proved very helpful and I urge follow vape travellers to check it out.

1 March 2017

5 Tips for Healthy Hair in Your 30's

When it comes to hair, we are never happy.  The blondes want to be brunettes, the brunettes want to be red heads; or combinations thereof.  The people with straight hair want it to be curly, the curly haired folk wish for straight gleaming locks.

I have always had very thick brown hair which has a mind and a personality all of it's own.  My sister, who is a hairdresser and therefore could tame it much easier, has quite fine hair.  Go figure. The picture below is probably a fair representation of me in the mornings.  Not much of a clue, just apply heat and pray to the hair gods.

Over the years I have done many, many things to my hair.  I have had streaks of all colours and have been a blonde, a brunette and a redhead; going back and forth when I got bored of the colour as I went.

In recent years the trends for hair colour has changed.  From balayage to ombre, grey hair to multicoloured.  All these different looks are amazing and can really show the style you want to portray and make your personality shine, just through your hair. 

Experimentation with hair colour is a right of passage in your twenties, but when you hit your thirties, your hair can pay the consequences.  Hair can become brittle and easily break from constant bleaching. It can even start to fall out as Kiera Knightley shared recently.

Our hair is not only at risk from over colouring.  When you hit your thirties, you are in your stride and often, this will be your busiest decade.  This is the time when you are really building your career and having children can come into play which can play havoc with your hormones and your hair. Undue stress can lead to problems with your hair thinning, and even leaving bald patches in your hair which is a condition called Alopecia Areata.  

But never fear!  A decade of bleaching your hair combined with a stressful lifestyle does not necessarily mean disaster.  I learned coming into my thirties that there are many things that you can do to take care of and maintain your hair so I thought that I would share a fair tips with you.

Protect from the Heat
Make sure to use a good heat protection spray each and time you style your hair.  There are also many shampoo and conditioners out there that can also help with heat protection.  I love the Aussie Take the Heat range.

Watch Those Split Ends!
Ideally you should aim to get your hair cut every 6-8 weeks to promote healthy hair with split ends at a minimum.  

Deep Moisturisation
I love using Coconut Oil in my hair once a week.  After massaging it into my wet hair for a few minutes, I wrap my hair into shower cap and either leave it for 20-30 if I don't have much time, or leave it overnight for ultimate moisturisation.  It really does make a difference and your hair after washing it out feels wonderful.

Wash Your Hair Less
Now I not suggesting that you walk around with greasy hair, but contrary to popular belief, you do not need to wash your hair every day (unless of course you have naturally really oily hair).  I wash mine every 3 days, usually having a ponytail on the third day or using dry shampoo if I am not entirely happy with how it looks.   The natural oils in your hair can help to keep it healthy and the longer you can leave between washes, the better.  I use the reverse hair wash method which has really made a difference.

Hair Replacement
Even you have bald patches or have developed Alopecia Totalis (total hair loss on the scalp), thankfully there are now treatments and procedures that you can undergo, such as a hair transplant which can restore your hair via donated hair that is then transferred to your scalp in a minimally invasive procedure that does not even involve sedation.

My hair will always be a beast that needs to be tamed.  Add rain or a muggy atmosphere and my hair can still turn into something that looks like a bush that you have dragged through a hedge.  But the most important thing is that my hair is now healthy and has a gloss to it that the incessant bleaching took away for so long.

Invest in your hair, it is the crown that you never take off.

*Collaborative post

14 July 2015

The Disabled Overweight (And Why We’re Not Unicorns)

Today on the blog I have the lovely Hazel guest posting for me from Frocktopus.  Hazel is talking today about size shaming and the disabled overweight.  This is a fantastic read and I am so pleased that she agreed to post for me.

As much as I don’t want to believe it, unicorns don’t exist. The nine year old inside me is crying just typing that. I on the other hand do exist, and as much as we all like to feel a little like we’re special snowflakes, there are literally millions of people just like me on this planet - I’m overweight and I’m disabled.

I’m writing about these things for the ever fabulous curved opinion today because this blog is all about body positivity and Vicky has written some amazing posts about the plus sized movement, which sadly goes hand in hand with talking about size shaming.

Often I’m essentially excused from size shaming, not because I’m of average BMI (on my scale of awesome fictional characters from Flat Stanley to Jabba the Hutt I happily sit just shy of Vicar of Dibley) but because I’m disabled. A fact people seem to forget when vilifying under/overweight people.

“That’s me!” I shout.

“Not you, you’re exempt” they blush. “Besides I don’t think of you as fat”
some of the nicer friends say.

“Do one” I say, hitting the Facebook block button, passive aggressive as ever.

These are people that would, quite rightly, be in uproar if someone said “But you can’t help being black” or “But I don’t think of you as a woman.” These are not valid excuses people, if you’re going to make sweeping statements and presumptions about a subset or society, it’s a good idea to stop, look left and right then think, can these people be expected to live up to my ideals, and should they be expected to?

Shaming people on the basis that 'people can do stuff but they won’t' is presuming you know someone's situation better than they themselves (something I regularly try to check with my ‘Am I being a dick?' filter.) Not everyone is able to cook healthy food, eat healthy food and exercise regularly enough to be an ideal weight. 

If you’re thinking a group of people aren’t doing something they should, it’s probably a good idea to take into account the subsets of that group that sometimes cannot physically do those things, be it by poverty, carpophobia or disability.

Another often touted belief is 'It’s wrong to have an unhealthy role model'. This is not only saying large swathes of disabled people can’t have a role model, it’s saying large swathes of disabled people can’t BE a role model, which is discrimination by omission (a law/rule/belief that isn’t specifically aimed at a subset of people but accidentally persecutes them more than average, for example losing job security for taking long periods of time off work discriminates parents by omission.) 

It’s important for all people to have someone that can make them feel like they aren’t a freak and that they can accomplish something great, whether that’s being an Olympian or getting out of your PJs by noon (FYI I am in my PJs at 11am writing this, I bet Tess Holiday’s in a fucking power suit by this time of day). 

This attitude towards over/underweight disabled people is not only pretty discriminatory but I do not believe it’s about health. Size shaming often masquerades as concern for health but it’s only a small portion of apparent health people can see on the surface.

Whilst I’ve been told probably over a hundred times in my life that I’m overweight, I have never once had someone in the street yell "Oi, Your blood sugar is low”. There are many ways people can be healthy and unhealthy (for example I’m teetotal) but there is an inordinate emphasis on extremes of weight due to societies revulsion.

Phobia and revulsion are very closely linked psychologically, that’s why when you have blood taken you’re sometimes asked to lay down on a table, because if you’re scared you don't faint, if you do it’s due to revulsion, even though the mind computes them both as the same thing. and what is concern? Come on, you know where I’m going with this, fear for another person. 

So body shamers,  we know you care, it’s just we don’t need your compassion/revulsion. What we need is for you to stop and think “Is this discrimination by omission?" "Am I presuming people I know someone's situation more than they do?" Am I being a dick

20 November 2012

A Little Perspective

We all have busy lives.  Work, family; social life; friends; hobbies it all takes up your time and it is easy to get stressed with the day to day.
When you are busy like that sometimes you can get bogged down by the small stuff, and let it take over, making you tired, irritable and ill tempered.  I’m not talking about proper depression here, just the day to day things that exasperate you.
I’ll admit that I’ve been like that a lot recently.  I haven’t been sleeping too well and I’ve been worried about my university course which has led to my being snappish, irritable and generally not in the best of moods.
I received a little perspective last night.  A friend whom I haven’t seen for around a year had won an award relating to his business and was in the local paper.  I read with horror that he had been diagnosed with cancer six months ago.  He is four years younger than me.
At 28 years old, with a wife and young child and a new business venture, he set up a desk from his hospital bed and made that business a success, cancer or no cancer. 
Even with that news, by mid morning today, I was again back in the rut of tired, grumpy and over worked.  Then I remembered him.  It is too easy to get drawn down into the mundane details of life.  I think we all need some perspective like that to keep everything in the balance.
I may be a bit stressed out at the moment, I may be a bit tired, but I have my health, my friends, my family, I’m happy.  Things could be so much worse.
The small things don’t matter.  When you look back at your life 10 years from now; the fact that you were tired one day or were too busy on another won’t even factor.  The fact that you were happy and living your life to the full will.