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4 tried and true tips for enjoying the season!

Hailey Hudson is a young author, blogger, and freelance writer from the mountains of north Georgia. She loves softball, Harry Potter, and her beagle puppy, Sophie. Click here to buy her debut book and follow along as she pursues her career in writing and children’s ministry by following her blog:

When I was younger, Thanksgiving and Christmas were my favorite times of the year. I loved the parties, the lights; anything and everything associated with the holidays. But two years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic fatigue illness, and things changed. Many times, I was just too tired to enjoy all the holidays. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered a few tips to help me: I’d like to share them with you with you in the hope that what works for me might help you enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Have an escape plan. You may need to have an escape or a backup plan for the season. Tell everyone that your plans need to be tentative and why: over partying and stress bring flares. Never missing an opportunity to educate, explain why committing to everything can be stressful and how stress affects you.

Or, you may need a backup plan for each event. For example, if I have a party or an activity in the evening, I try to get someone else to drive me, because I know I might be too sleepy to drive when the party ends.

Tell people what to expect Do you need a nap each afternoon? Do you have food sensitivities? Does your medicine need to be taken exactly thirty minutes before a meal? What a tremendous opportunity to educate other people. For example, while assisting the hostess prepare hors d’oeuvres, you can tell her that you’re unable to eat ‘x’  because it affects how a medication that you take, works. Bu, tell her that that won’t affect her because you brought a few things that you can pop into the microwave.

More than likely, people will be happy to accommodate you so you’ll enjoy the festivities. If you’re on a restricted diet and have enough energy, bring food so that you know you’ll have at least a few things to eat.

As much as possible, try to space things out. I do this all year round—if I have an all-day event, I know that I’ll need to rest for the entire next day. So, I try to leapfrog days when I’m planning out my calendar. For example, if I have the option of a holiday party one night and breakfast with a friend the next morning, ideally I would choose only one of those events so that I don’t get too run down. No one will mind if you miss something in order to rest. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself, even if that means sitting out on something fun. You, more than anyone else, knows when your body needs rest. Today’s sniffles could be tomorrow’s full-blown flu without proper care.

Self-care is important—but don’t put it into a box. I spent many evenings forcing myself to take a bubble bath and drink tea and calling it ‘self-care’ because that was what everyone preached—completely disregarding that I disliked both! Finally, I wised up and realized that self-care is not synonymous with a bubble bath—self-care is anything that relaxes you. I began reading and painting in the evenings, and found it much more relaxing than sitting in a tub of water; the water is bound to get cold!

Only you know your body. How you relax is 100% your call, but if you’re like me, in an attempts to be everything to everyone, you’ll forget YOU. So, make sure to make time for whatever relaxes ‘you;’ write it on your calendar if you need to. If you’re not proactively taking care of yourself, you will crash and burn and regret it. I’ve been there and trust me, it’s not pretty!

The bottom line here is this: the holiday season is hectic, but make your health a priority. If you take care of yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holiday, and you’ll love the season and all it has to offer once again. Happy Holidays!


 

 

 

 

 

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The 4 Best Exercises for a Healthier Heart

Ida Jones

There are many exercises that contribute to the health of the heart.  Following are four of the best exercises that will keep your heart healthy. Have a look at them:

Circuit training

Circuit training is all about movements, and there is no better way of improving the health of the heart other than circuit training. Start working out and add circuit training to your daily ritual. It is that one exercise which involves very high-intensity workout, and it helps the heart to pump the blood better and fast. That ‘cardio’ workout can keep the heart AND the lungs a bit more elastic and increase the contractility of the heart muscle. Circuit training is well-known for increasing the elasticity of the heart especially the arterial wall. It will help the arteries to stretch themselves which results in better blood supply. 

Weight training

weight training

Weight training is another amazing exercise for the health of your heart. For everyone who is suffering from cardiac issues or immune system issues, weight training is meant for them. Other than the heart, weight training is great for your bones as well.

In considering the bones which are made less porous by the steroids often necessary in autoimmune diseases, strengthening the muscles around he joints can percent the need for premature joint replacements caused by osteonecrosis.

Don’t feel like going to the gym every day? Buy a weight bench and a set of dumbbells, creating a mini gym of your own at home. You can check your body’s weight bearing capacity and set the weights according to that. Another little suggestion here might be to try modified push ups with your knees bent to prevent pressure on your shoulder joints. Tendon tears and osteonecrosis of the shoulder are known side effects of steroids used to treat many autoimmune diseases. Otherwise, regular push-ups could be added to your regimen.   

Running

Running is again one of the best exercises for the heart. It will improve the health of your heart by improving the circulation of blood in the body. By improving the circulation it also improves the pathways of blood circulating through the lungs and strengthens the muscles supporting the whole thorax.

Running also lowers blood pressure, a known causes of heart disease. In addition to helping your heart by working to lower your blood pressure, running strengthens the muscles of your legs, your entire abdominal region; speaking in generalities, it helps your body and has a positive effect  Again, muscle strength improves the support the muscles give to the bones.Try running daily for at least half hour and then gradually increase the time once you develop the required stamina.

Swimming

The last but not the least, swimming is also very beneficial for the heart. For a one exercise that ‘does it all’ many turn to swimming. Swimming involves intense workout, and this is how it keeps the heart healthy. It increases physical stamina and also contributes to the body shaping and weight loss. Swimming is good for people of all ages even for the pregnant woman. It is all safe and healthy so if you don’t know how to swim, learn it and you are good to go. Muscles are developed through the ever so gentle resistance offered by the water.

I hope this guide helps you out. Stay safe and stay healthy!

 

About the Author:

Ida Jones is a mother of two little ones. She enjoys home-based workouts, cardio exercises, and long runs. She loves spending her vacations outdoors with her kids around nature. She believes in clean and healthy eating. She regularly writes about fitness tips and much more at FitnessGrit.com

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3 Tips for Surviving a Stressful Job Despite Chronic Illness

Surviving a Stressful Job Despite Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness can be extremely difficult, when you work in a high stress field you may find your health quickly taking a nosedive. So, what do you do?

While some may be forced to quit their jobs due to their health, some people manage to find their own delicate balance that allows them to keep working in high stress environments. Here are three important tips that help me keep my balance.

You Are What You Eat

Diet cannot be stressed enough, but between having little to no time for meal prep and the unpredictability of breaks, eating healthy can be a challenge. While a complete diet overhaul would be best, in most cases it is not necessarily feasible. So the next best thing is finding and eliminating your food sensitivities.

There are numerous articles and lists on the internet telling you what foods you should avoid for every type of illness under the sun, so do some research for your particular illness. Then narrow down those lists by paying attention to what your body is telling you, find what your personal triggers are and avoid them.

A food diary can be invaluable when you are discovering your dietary sensitivities. Write down what you eat each day as well as how you are feeling, then look for patterns.

Do your joints ache the day after you eat a steak or burger? What about after pizza or spaghetti? Once you discover what you need to avoid, look for substitutions. Tomatoes make you ache? The internet has many tomato-free recipes, so you can have your pizza and eat it too.

Give Yourself Permission to Rest

Stress is the enemy, it can quickly exacerbate chronic illnesses and can be extremely detrimental to your health. We often deal with irate customers and tight deadlines, if we aren’t careful this constant stress can not only weigh us down but also follow us home.

That is why we all need an outlet, so take a moment to think of things that soothe you. It can be as simple as going for a walk on your lunch break or as creative as writing music. The idea is to release those emotions and stress so they can’t bottle up.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical in managing an illness. So give yourself permission to take the occasional evening or weekend off with no cell phone, leave work where it belongs and giving yourself some personal time.

Admit You Are Not a Super Hero

Yeah, that’s a tough one to swallow; you are amazing but you aren’t invincible. The 40+ hour work weeks of the past might no longer be within your capabilities.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to quit, but maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Work with your employer, maybe you can cut back your hours by working shorter days without hurting yourself.

You need to be honest about what your health will allow you to do at this point.

It’s better to cut down your hours for now than to work yourself so far into the ground that you are forced to quit. Listening to what your body is telling you is vital. So pay attention to how you feel each week and be open to adjustments.

Finding the Balance

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness you quickly discover that long hours and bad nutrition are no longer an option. Incorporate some of these changes into your daily routine. Your body may seem like the enemy but it can also be your greatest ally.

Listen to what your body is telling you and act accordingly, small changes can result in big improvements. It’s a daily struggle, but once you find that balance you may just find that you can maintain your health and keep your high stress job too.

Candice Hardman is a writer who uses her experiences as a healthcare worker and patient to bridge the gap in health communications. She provides professional writing services that help improve patient understanding and outcomes through her website.

 

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LUPUS, in a nutshell

Every disease, everything that ails us, usually has a descriptor, a very easy way of describing it. and here is a lupus descriptor that is a very basic. Future articles will expound on this video:

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5 Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia!

Beth Martel
Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition which is mostly found in women and is considered nearly as common as Osteoarthritis. It can lead to a debilitating depression and social withdrawal. It needs to be clarified that fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease; however, many people with autoimmune diseases do have fibromyalgia. This confuses and lengthens the diagnostic process between the two.

Also, it has been thought that in  Fibromyalgia, nerves are hypersensitive to any stimulation, but this is a theory.

The muscles of your body might hurt all over without any physical activity and the joints may also start aching, making you all restless, and unwilling to exercise. It eventually leads to depression and anxiety as well. Other symptoms may be chronic headaches, incapability to focus on things, abdominal pain and body stiffness.

While you can always consult a doctor, it is also necessary to put efforts to find a way to deal with the disease like this one without losing hope and letting it take control of you and make you weak. As they rightly say, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’ and there surely is. Let me show you 5 ways that might help you to fight not only Fibromyalgia but many chronic pains. Continue reading

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