This is our second year supporting Breast cancer care WA. Last year our team raised $1080. This year we have raised $1226 - what a fantastic effort by all. Purple bras were worn over bathers during aqua aerobics classes. Many thanks to all sponsors who have donated goods/services to go into our raffles, which will be drawn mid July. There is still time to get donations in :)
Just like the rest of your body, taking care of your eyes is important to prevent eyestrain and more serious problems. Many people spend hours in front of the computer without a break, and don't realise this can cause eyestrain and a host of other problems, including headaches.
Grant Fisher, head of optometry at Budget eyewear says:
"Eyestrain isn't known to lead to permanent damage, but it can keep you from doing your work. The causes of eyestrain vary for each individual, but the three top causes are: inadequate workspace set-up, ineffective lighting, and lack of proper eyecare."
# Tip 1 Hold up a pencil in front of your eyes then follow it out as far as possible from your body then back in. Alternatively,
pick a wall at least a few metres away and stare momentarily at an object on the wall.
# Tip 2 Every hour or so when you have a coffee or bathroom break, close your eyes for around 5 - 10 seconds, to prevent
# Tip 3 Think about increasing the text/font size of the screen and adjust the brightness on your computer monitor.
In addition, if you're experiencing black spots in front of your eyes, straining to see objects relatively close, and foggy or blurred vision in one or both eyes, visit your optometrist for an eye test. Many people who get glasses later in life leave it too long and have been straining their eyes for years before realising there is a problem.
"The best tip is to give your eyes a break! If you sit at your computer for long lengths of time, the best break your eyes can get is to focus for a few a seconds on an object that is further away in your line of vision than your computer. This will really help your eyes to relax."
Grant Fisher, Head of optometry
Many people rely on their daily caffeine boost to help get them through the week, but how much is too much?
Naturopath Eleanor McKenzie-Russell said it is a controversial topic with the jury still out as to how much benefit is derived from a cup of coffee.
"The general recommendation is 2-3 cups of tea or coffee a day as both contain caffeine" she said.
Purists would say to avoid caffeine altogether and just drink water or herbal teas as continued caffeine intake can cause an addiction."
Ms McKenzie-Russell said organic coffee is better for you with the most active component in it being caffeine - a central nervous system stimulant.
The amount of caffeine in one or two cups of coffee has a number of health benefits such as counteracting fatigue and speeding up digestion she said.
Antioxidants found in caffeine may also prevent aging and protect skin against cell damage.
Drinking coffee quickens the recovery of muscles from fatigue possibly by calling on glycogen stores in the muscles, and it may also play a part in protecting against Alzheimer's disease.
With many listed benefits Ms McKenzie-Russell said when deciding on how much caffeine should be consumed it is up to the individual, their lifestyle and health.
"If it's one of life's pleasures for you, then enjoy it" she said.
"But in moderation"
According to Ms McKenzie-Russell, drinking coffee regularly may reduce the risk of:
> Parkinson's Disease
> Cirrhosis of the liver
> Gall and kidney stones
> Type 2 diabetes
> Heart disease and
> Delay the onset of multiple sclerosis
The Naturopath said that drinking coffee may improve:
Physical endurance and stamina
from the "In Good health" publication November 2011
Check out our HOME page for full details of May 2011 promotion
Getting a good quality night's sleep is as important as nutrition & exercise when it comes to achieving a healthy lifestyle. It is also essential for feeling refreshed & alert the next day so you can function at your best. The optimal amount of sleep is generally considered as being 6 - 8 hours of quality sleep each night, however many of us struggle with falling and staying asleep.
Making some simple changes to your daily routine and sleep environment can make a big difference. Here are some tips to help you get a better night's sleep.
1. Stck to a routine, going to bed & waking up about the same time each day.
2. Avoid eating & drinking large amounts before bedtime.
3. Cut out caffeine & smoking.
4. Exercise regularly.
5. Sleep in a slightly cool room using enough blackets to keep warm.
6. Avoid day time naps.
7. Try to keep the house quiet at night.
8. Invest in a comfortable mattress.
9. Try having a warm bath or shower just before bedtime.
10. Do not rely on sleeping pills.
If after following these tips you still have trouble sleepingon a regular basis it is important to contact your doctor as you may be suffering from a sleep related dis-order. Common sleep dis-orders include: insomnia, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, snoring, & sleep apnoea. Your doctor will assess your symptoms, sleeping habits, medical history & may take tests before making a diagnosis/suggesting treatment.
HAVE YOUR SAY. Do you have any tips that have helped you or someone you know get to sleep?
A muscle cramp is an uncrontrolable & painful spasm of a muscle. The pain usually subsides within seconds or minutes but can, in severe cases, continue for longer. Although any muscle can go into spasm, muscle cramps generally affect the muscles of the thigh, calf & foot.
The exact cause of muscle cramping is still unknown, however, there are some factors that are associated with muscle cramps, including:
* EXERCISE - Muscle cramps sometime occur during or after vigorous or prolonged exercise. Excessive sweating can also lead to a loss of sodium, which can cause cramping.
* UNDERLYING HEALTH CONDTIONS - In rare cases, muscle cramps can occur as a result of an underlying condition, such as atherosclerosis and sciatica.
* MEDICATION - Some types of medication can cause muscle cramps. Regular use of fluid pills (diuretics) can interfere with the body's mineral balance and contribute to cramping.
WHAT TO DO
If you experience a muscle cramp, below are some tips to help you relieve the pain:
* Gently stretch the cramped muscle until it has stopped cramping.
* Apply an ice pack for a few minutes to numb the area and help the muscle to relax.
* Gently massage the muscle.
To prevent muscle cramps from occuring you could try stretching you muscles before and after exercise. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day and increase your inntake of fluid if you are exercising.
You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing muscle cramps on a regular basis, or if cramps are severe and last for longer than a few minutes
SOURCE: November 2010 issue 23 of In Good Health by LGIS
Eating a healthy and balanced diet doesn't mean you always have to buy the most expensive foods. By making a few small changes to your daily lifestyle, you can eat healthily and save money at the same time.
Here are some tips for eating a balanced diet without breaking your budget:
KEEP A SUPPLY OF FROZEN FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN THE FREEZER. They tend to be cheaper than fresh fruit and vegetables and are just as good for you
TINNED FOOD Canned tomatoes, beans and pulses are cheap and nutritious. try to choose versions that contain low levels of salt and sugar.
INCLUDE MORE VEGETABLES. Vegetables tend to cost a lot less than meat. try adding more vegetables to your meat based meals. The meat will go further, saving your money, and the vegetables will give you essential vitamins, minerals and fibre.
SHOP AT YOUR LOCAL MARKET. It is worth checking your local suppliers or markets. They can often be cheaper and buying their produce can help support your local community.
MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD. Eating out at restaurants and buying takeaway foods can be expensive. These foods are also high in fat, salt and sugar. By cooking your own food at home and taking a packed lunch when you are on the go, you can control what you eat and save money.
COOK IN BULK. Cooking in bulk can give you enough food left for another day, which saves you time and money. Invest in some cheap containers and freezer bags to store leftovers.
SHOP IN SEASON. when buying fresh fruit and vegetables, coose ones that are in season. They will not only be cheaper, but they will taste better too.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Drink lots of water iinstead of soft drinks. It's not loaded with sugasr and it's free!
If you have any tips for eating well for less, please feel free to leave a comment
The shoulder is a ball & socket joint with a large range of movement. There is more movement at the shoulder joint than at any other joint in the body. The only downside to this extensive range of movement is a lack of stability, which can make the shoulder joint more prone to injury.
The shoulder joint relies heavily on the surrounding shoulder muscles & tendons for stability. Any dysfunction of these muscles or other anatomicalstructures such as shoulder blade, collar bone or joint itself can cause pain & mobility problems.
Some of the conditions that commonly cause shoulder pain include:
* Tendonitis, due to overuse
* Shoulder joint instability
* Strains, due to overexertion
* Collar or upper arm fractures
* "Frozen" shoulder
* Pinched nerves
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR PROTECTIONG YOUR SHOULDERS TO HELP PREVENT INJURY:
* Keep physically fit with a balanced program of aerobic exercise alongside stretching & strengthening exercises for your whole body.
* Use the correct techniques when playing sport or exercising. If you aren't sure, ask your fitness trainer to demonstrate.
* Warm up & cool down, before & after engaging in physical activity.
* Always use the correct techniques when lifting heavy or awkward objects - face the object, keep you back straight & bend your knees.
* Do not reach to place or retrieve heavy objects that are stored high above you. Always use a stable platform or a stepladder.
* If you feel any pain in your shoulder, stop the activity you are doing immediately.
* If you think you may have injured your shoulder, consult you doctor or physiotherapist.
In my last post, I talked about how leaning, propping up and slumping causes the postural muscles to crash. Here are some good habits to work on to ensure the core works more efficiently and effectively.
HABIT ONE: CREATE SPACE
Lungs need space to work properly. Place the fingers of your right hand on your breastbone and your left hand underneath your belly button. Slump, then gently lift your top hand and ribs away from the bottom hand without swaying your back. Breathe out and relax the shoulders. This lengthens your torso and correctly activates your deep core.
HABIT TWO: USE YOUR BASE
Breathe in through your nose for a count of four to fill the base of your lungs without moving your breastbone. When you feel the air reach your lower lobes, imagine your diaphragm, which is at the base of your ribs, is an umbrella. As you breathe in, feel your bottom ribs expand at the front sides and back. Breathe out to a count of four and imagine the umbrella is slowly closing and drawing in your ribs and stomach wall. You'll feel your stomack deflate like a soufflé. Keep your chest up. Repeat for 5 slow breaths
Changing breathing habits will take time. It's a good idea to practice at every oppurtunity (While watching tv, or standing in a supermarket que. Once the habit is ingrained, there are positive flow-ons into daily life.
As you breathe out, the stomach wall should draw in. If the stomach bulges or hardens or you hold your breath, the core has crashed, along with the support.
If you can get the foundations right when standing, sitting, walking and breathing, you will be able to achieve much more when undertaking more complex activities, such as exercise. The other bonus is that you will look better when your posture is aligned and feel better through boosting your confidence & activating your body's internal elastic support. You'll be surprised at how much your progress improves when your posture is aligned and you start breathing better.
Adapted from the book "The Feel Good Body" by Anna-Louise Bouvier & Jennifer Fleming.
Research shows that when global & postural muscles work together, they produce optimal results. A large number of issues stem from poor postural habits - If someone sits at a desk all day with their back shaped like a banana, the local/postural muscle system crashes & the global system needs to work harder to compensate for lack of stability. Over time, this can lead to body breakdown.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, you only see part of the muscle system - the moving/global muscles. There is another key system that's invisible - the local/postural system - that does the job of supporting the skeleton. These two muscle systems work together. While you can activate the moving/global muscles as easily as flexing a bicep, the postural system is a bit trickier, only switching on when the body is lined up correctly. If the postural system collapses because of sloppy posture, the moving systems step in to support the body. But because these muscles aren't supposed to be used for extended periods, they become tired & sore. This manifests itself as niggly aches & makes people want to slump even more.
It's important how you position yourself daily. If it is a routine slump, prop & lean, it means you are not using the postural system & are missing out on the opimal functioning of the muscle systems. The problem is, most people have forgotten how to "line up" properly. Activating the postural system isn't about exercises, but alignment and transforming bad postural habits into good ones.
BREATHING Factors, such as poor posture & stress can cause people to only breathe from the upper lobes of their lungs. It means they often can't get enough oxygen when exercising. The correct way to breathe is from the base of the lungs. A way to descibe this is to imagine that there is an umbrella opening at the base of the lungs. As you breathe out, imagine the umbrella is closing with the diaphragm contracting inward & drawing in the ribs. Breathing like this all day, every day correctly engages the core & ensures a more effective & efficient lifestyle.
NEXT WEEK: Step by step instructions on changing your breathing & posture.