Be Nice, It’s Good for Your Heart

woman smiling

It is rare for people to consciously try to be nasty, but it is also quite rare for people to go out of their way to be kind to others. While helping other people should be enough of a reason to be nice, research has shown that having this friendly attitude will also bring you a number of different health benefits, making it more worthwhile than ever to be nice to others.

Heart Health
There are now several studies that have shown that there is a link between acts of kindness and the different markers of heart health. A study carried out in 2006 was especially successful in showing that acts of kindness were able to lower blood pressure, as it releases a chemical called nitric oxide within the body, which then dilutes blood vessels. This is also the case for “bad” cholesterol, which is lowered to quite an extent after consistent levels of kindness have been practised.

Stress and Cortisol
Whenever your body experiences stress, it releases the hormone cortisol throughout your body. While this is absolutely fine on occasion, chronic stress, and therefore the continuous release of cortisol, has many negative health effects. However, being nice is something that can drastically lower the cortisol levels within your body, which then has an impact on everything from your state of mind to the rate at which your body ages.

Illness Prevention
Research has shown that people who spend more time helping others tend to have a much stronger ability to ward off infections and illnesses.

doctor and patient

This could be due to the fact that they have lower markers of inflammation, as inflammation is responsible for a whole array of different diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

Reduced Pain
In addition to being nice to others, you should also remember to be nice to yourself. This means that, if you suffer from chronic pain, you should try to be as accepting and understanding about your condition as possible, rather than berating yourself for not improving fast enough. By being kinder to yourself in this way, the amount of pain that you experience is likely to quickly drop, which will then help you to recover even faster.

Longer Life
It comes as no surprise that those who are experiencing all of the above health benefits would enjoy a longer life, and research has backed this up. The studies looked in particular at people who volunteered for two or more charitable organizations, and found that they experienced a 44% lowered risk of dying early, which is even more of an impact than regular exercise has.

Science has definitely proven that being nice really pays off in so many different ways. If you are looking to carry out more acts of kindness, there are a number of ways in which you can do this. From volunteering at a local charity to paying someone a genuine compliment to simply being a listening ear for someone who is having a tough time, make it your mission to go out of your way to be nice to others as much as possible.

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Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone

Lent is all about taking the necessary steps to improve your life and become a better person, and one of the best ways in which to do this is by pushing past your comfort zone and taking a few new risks in life. Expanding your horizons and breaking through your self-imposed limits brings about so many different physical and mental benefits, while empowering your mind at the same time, helping you to achieve a much more fulfilled and happy life.

Man balancing on rope

What is a Comfort Zone?
Your comfort zone is basically a behavioral space in which your activities fit into a certain routine or pattern that minimizes stress and risk. Not only does this provide mental security, but it also leads to regular happiness and lower levels of anxiety. While this may be the case, pushing past your comfort zone on occasion can really bring about some incredible results, from boosting productivity to harnessing your creativity, making it worth putting some conscious effort into expanding your horizons.

Take Small Risks with Everyday Tasks
The best way to begin pushing your boundaries is by taking small risks with everyday tasks that you do. This could be anything from taking a new route to work in the mornings, to cutting out meat from your diet for a couple of weeks. While these may seem like extremely small changes, they are easy to implement will still have the effect of providing you with a new perspective on your everyday life.

Making Decisions
Each time you make a decision, no matter how many options you may have, there will always be one choice that is the riskiest and uncomfortable, as well as one that is the safest. While you may immediately be drawn to the safest choice, as this lies within your comfort zone, it is likely to be the most uncomfortable option that really helps you to grow as a person. The next time you are making a decision, slow down and really consider each of your options before choosing one, rather than just instinctively opting for the choice that you are most comfortable with.

Tomorrow is a New Day
There is no denying the fact that taking risks in life can often seem quite scary, especially if they do not go as planned. However, you need to be able to pick yourself up from this and remember that tomorrow is a brand new day in which you will be able to implement all that you have learned today, giving you a greater chance of success in the future.

There are so many different ways in which to push past your comfort zone, and even if all of the experiences that come from this are not positive, you will still be learning something new about yourself with each step that you take. Whether you make an effort to travel to new places more, volunteer with a worthy cause, or simply learn a new language or a musical instrument, pushing your own personal boundaries may seem like a challenge at first, but, the more that you do this, the easier it will be to do in the future.

Three Aspects of Healthy Living

While there are many different aspects to consider when it comes to healthy living, there are three that are absolutely key. From physical health to mental well-being to social relationships, make sure that you place a priority on each of these parts of your life.

Woman running

Physical Health
There are a number of factors that contribute to an individual’s physical health, but two that you can have full control over are diet and exercise. In today’s world, it is all-too-easy to get the diet part wrong, especially since supermarket shelves are lined with unhealthy, processed foods. Improving on a diet can often seem daunting, so take this one step at a time, making easy and gradual changes rather than dramatic, difficult ones. For example, incorporating a new vegetable into your meals each week could be a great first step, as could making your own healthy smoothies at home. Exercise also plays a huge role in physical health, with the majority of people out there not getting enough exercise at all. Again, this is something else that can seem challenging to initially get motivated about, so begin by picking a few forms of exercise that you genuinely enjoy, such as a certain sport or a dance. Once your fitness levels begin to improve, it will be much easier to branch out and see what else is out there.

Woman meditating

Mental Health
Mental health is an extremely broad topic, but one of the key causes of poor mental health in today’s world is stress. When you experience stress, this triggers an emergency response in your body, which sends the hormone cortisol coursing through you. Chronic stress, which means consistently elevated levels of cortisol, will increase your risk for so many mental health problems, from depression to other forms of mental illness. When it comes to keeping your stress levels under control, you may need to experiment with different tactics before finding one that works for you, whether this may be doing some form of exercise, spending an hour gardening, or spending time on a new hobby.

Friends having dinner

Social Bonds
Healthy relationships are a vital part of healthy living, and there is plenty of research out there that shows that strong social bonds are linked to a longer and happier life. Not only do healthy relationships mean that you are 50% less likely to die prematurely, but they can also boost your immune system and help you to deal with stress better, which, in turn, will be a boost to your mental health. If you are looking to expand your social circle but do not know where to begin, look into local groups or clubs where you can meet people that share similar interests to you, or ask your existing friends to introduce you to some new people.

When it comes to healthy living, there are always areas in which you can improve on. Whether this may be making improvements to your diet to support your physical health, or expanding your social circle to support both your physical and mental health, be sure to pay close attention to each of these three aspects of healthy living.

Beating Holiday Stress

Many people would say that the holiday season brings with it just as much stress as it does joy, leaving them unable to really enjoy themselves. If you find yourself agreeing with this, read on for some great tips on how to beat that dreaded holiday stress.

woman with family
Don’t Over-Schedule
You may feel obliged to accept just about every invitation that comes your direction during the holiday season, but over-scheduling is pretty much a guaranteed way to bring on huge amounts of holiday stress. Learning how to say no may seem simple, but it is something that can sometimes take quite a bit of work. However, once you do say no, this will go a long way in reducing the amount of seasonal stress that you experience, as your calendar will not be packed with too many obligations, leaving you with plenty of time for yourself.

Think Before You Spend
The financial pressure that often comes with the holiday season is enough to cause stress to even the most laid back person, but it does not need to be this way. Before you begin spending for the holidays, set yourself a realistic budget that will not leave you dealing with excessive debts in the new year, and make sure that you stick to it. When it comes to gifts, do not forget that non-material presents can often be the most meaningful, from personalized poems to home videos.

Woman relaxing
Take a Break
When everything starts to seem slightly overwhelming, this is the time to step back and take a short break for 15 minutes or so. Heading outside for some fresh air will do you some good in multiple ways, from the sunlight stimulating the production of serotonin within the body, otherwise known as the feel good hormone, to the motion of walking having a tranquilizing effect on the brain. Once you return to the stressful situation, you will feel much more refreshed and better capable of dealing with it.

Don’t Abandon Healthy Habits
After striving all year to be as healthy as possible, the thought of overindulging during the holiday season can often be quite stressful, as you become fully aware of the guilt that you will soon be facing. To avoid over-eating when it comes to unhealthy snacks at holiday parties, have something healthy to eat before leaving the house, so that you will not be as hungry when you arrive. You can also make your own kitchen as healthy and supportive as possible, by doing everything from removing any sugar-filled treats, which you know you will be eating plenty of when out, to keeping your home alcohol-free and only drinking when you are out socializing, as excessive alcohol is definitely not good for your health.

The holiday season is supposed to be a joyful time, with peace and happiness being promoted. However, the only way that you can really enjoy all that the holidays truly stand for is by ensuring that you are as stress-free as possible, so keep these methods in mind whenever you start to feel overwhelmed.

Yoga Sequences for Restful Sleep

Yoga
A consistent lack of quality sleep can lead to a number of different health issues, making it important to find a natural solution to this as soon as possible. Yoga is known for being able to combat insomnia, as it soothes the mind and the body, increasing your level of relaxation. While some yoga poses are best for energizing the body, these asanas should be used in a sequence that you practice before bed each night, because doing so will give you a deep and restful sleep.

Relaxed Down Dog
The Relaxed Down Dog is an easier version of the Downward Facing Dog, making it ideal for the night time. Simply enter into the downward facing dog with your hands and feet, but bend your knees and lift your heels off the mat. This will allow your spine to arch, as you press your navel towards your thighs, which targets the back instead of the hamstrings, releasing all of the tension that has built up over the day.

Seated Forward Bend
The Seated Forward Bend can either be used to warm up the hamstrings, or, by ensuring that you do not perform this pose to intensely, can also help to relax them, as well as release tension from a distracted mind. While sitting down, extend your legs in front of you, keeping your knees slightly bent, and reach for your feet after exhaling. The key here is to keep your back as flat as possible, even if this means that you have to bend your knees more, as you do not want to be stretching your hamstrings too much. Slowly round your back over your legs, staying in this position for a few breaths while you feel a stretch along your spine.

Legs Up the Wall
The Legs Up the Wall pose is what many modern yogis would refer to as a cure-all pose, and is usually practiced at the end of a sequence. Place a folded blanket against a wall and sit next to it, before lying down on your back, bending your knees, and placing your feet on the wall. Move your lower back as close to the wall as possible, and then move your feet so that they are pointing straight up, with your heels resting against the wall for support. With your arms either by your side or by your head, the latter of which will give your shoulders an extra stress, close your eyes and allow your body to relax, feeling the force of gravity pull you down. Hold this for 30 seconds, before rolling onto one side with your knees bent, resting in this fetal position for a minute before moving.

Shavasana
Also known as the Corpse Pose, Shavasana is the perfect pose to end your bedtime yoga sequence with, as it puts your body into the ideal state for a restful sleep. Simply lie on your back and close your eyes, with your arms extended slightly outwards and your palms facing up. Allow your feet to fall open, with your toes pointing outwards, and shrug your shoulders until you can feel them relax downwards. Lengthen your spine and relax your lower back, finding a comfortable position in which you can lie for about ten minutes. If you do not have this much time at the end of your routine, hold this pose until your heart rate has slowed down, and your breathing is back to its natural rhythm.

Yoga is designed to release the stress and tension from the parts of your body that usually experience a severe build up of it, and this is often what contributes to disturbed sleep. If you have never thought about using yoga before to help boost the quality of your sleep, give this short sequence a go, and you are likely to be pleasantly surprised when you wake up feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Woman meditating

There are a number of different factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, from the food that you eat to the amount that you sleep. While this may be common knowledge, putting these ideas into action is often more difficult than it might seem, so take a look at these following tips to help you get started.

Go Primal
Diet fads come and go, but the one piece of information that has never changed is that unprocessed foods are the best when it comes to staying healthy. Nicknamed as the primal diet, a diet made up of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish and eggs is ideal, and keeping the primal imagery in mind will help you to avoid anything that is processed or filled with sugar.

Positivity
Keeping your mood uplifted is essential when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, as stress can lead to a number of different health conditions. There are many ways to bring positivity into your life, from engaging in new activities with friends, meditation and reflection, or even doing a kind deed for someone else. You should also try to laugh more, as studies have shown that not only does this keep positivity high and stress levels low, but people who laugh more usually outlive those who do not.

Woman walking

Choose to Walk
Research has shown that some of the health benefits of daily exercise include an increased life span, a reduced risk of a multitude of diseases, and higher bone density, yet this is something that many still avoid. When it comes to traveling short distances, choosing to walk over taking a form of transport can make a huge difference, as can taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Eat the Rainbow
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the greens are often the ones that are most heavily promoted, but you really need to be eating a wide variety. To help you to remember to do so, try to make sure that you are ‘eating the rainbow’, consuming a fruit or vegetable of each color each day, as the different colors all indicate different nutrients.

Woman sleeping

Go to Bed Earlier
The time when you are sleeping is when your body works to heal and regenerate, meaning that if you are sleep deprived, even for just a couple of nights, this can begin to take a serious toll on your health. The optimum amount of sleep is around eight hours a night, and a simple way to ensure that you are sleeping for this long is by going to bed at around 10pm, making sure that you turn off your computer and any other electronic devices, as this will drastically interfere with your sleep quality.

A healthy lifestyle does not need to be at all difficult, and it is usually possible to just tweak your current lifestyle in a few ways in order to make it slightly healthier. From spending more time planning your meals to ensure that you are eating a good variety of foods, to sticking to a strict schedule when it comes to bedtime, these tips are all easy to follow, and can have a significant improvement in your overall health.

Tips for Living a Wellness Lifestyle

For those who want to make long-lasting improvements to their health, it is usually necessary to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. From a healthy body to a balanced mind, these tips will help you to live more of a wellness lifestyle.

Exciting but Healthy Ingredients
The foods that you put into your body have a huge impact on your overall health, but the idea of healthy eating can often put many people off from a wellness diet. However, rather than focussing on the foods that you should not be eating, try to seek out new and exciting foods that are nutrient dense, because there is a whole world of fascinating, and extremely tasty, ingredients out there.

Woman seasoning fish with herbs

Herbs Instead of Salt
While a portion of herbs may be small in size, they are absolutely packed with antioxidants, are able to reduce blood pressure, and can often be a great replacement for a big shake of salt. For a sweet and spicy flavor, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon are great, while Italian seasonings work well for a light lunch. For stronger flavors in the evening, opt for basil, thyme, pepper, or garam masala.

Reduce Stress
Many may think that stress is just a mental or emotion condition, but it actually physically affects the body in many detrimental ways. In order to avoid this, you need to take steps to severely reduce the amount of stress that you experience, whether by meditating every day or by identifying the factors that cause you stress, and working out how best to eliminate them.

Woman exercising

Daily Exercise
The healthiest people out there are the ones that have some sort of exercise each and every day. Exercise does not need to be boring, and there are so many different forms of it that just about anyone can find a way to exercise that excites them. From learning a new water sport to signing up for a gardening club, staying active, and outdoors as much as possible, will help you to achieve a wellness lifestyle. As long as it gets your heart pumping and your joints moving, it will not be long before you begin to see the benefits that your regular exercise is bringing to your body.

Overhaul Your Morning Routine
Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, and can have the effect of either building you up to be as productive and efficient as possible, or going in the opposite direction and wrapping your brain in a thick, dense fog. There are many ways to improve your morning routine, from taking five minutes for some peace and quiet to lower stress levels, to sipping on a glass of warm lemon water to give your body a hydrating boost to organizing your home in a way that makes life more convenient for you in the mornings.

It is so important to take care of your body, but many people make lifestyle choices that do just the opposite. By implementing each of these tips, you will soon be well on your way to living a wellness lifestyle, and enjoying the many benefits that come with this.

Cryogenic Therapy

Cryogenic skin treatment

Cryogenic therapy dates back to the seventeenth century, and involves the use of low, freezing temperatures, either applied to the whole body in general, or to a localized area. From working as an effective method of rehabilitation for athletes, to helping those who suffer from conditions such as fibromyalgia, cryogenic therapy is quickly becoming much more accessible to the general public, with an increasing number of clinicians all over the world adding cryogenic chambers to their practices.

Whole Body Cryogenic Therapy
Whole body cryogenic therapy is one of the most popular forms of cryogenic therapy, and involves the use of a cryogenic chamber or sauna, large enough to accommodate the entire body. The client is placed into this cryogenic chamber for between one and three minutes, during which time a burst of icy nitrogen is released every thirty seconds or so. The freezing gas surrounds the body, causing the blood to rush to the body’s core in order to preserve all of the vital organs. The cold temperature also shocks the body into releasing endorphins, otherwise known as the body’s natural pain reliever, which helps to suppress the pain that arises from a variety of different medical conditions. With the body now in survival mode, the blood fills with oxygen, and, after exiting the chamber, this highly oxygenated blood then rushes back into the client’s arms and legs, bringing with it a warm and tingly sensation.

What Does Cryogenic Therapy Treat?
Cryogenic therapy is considered to be extremely invigorating, and is used to treat a number of different conditions. From psychological stress to insomnia to skin issues, cryogenic therapy has the ability to tackle a wide range of issues. Cryogenic therapy has also become increasingly popular amongst athletes, from NBA stars to champion weightlifters, as it is highly effective at tackling muscle and joint pain, making it a fantastic form of rehabilitation, enabling athletes to experience a pain-free body after a day of intense exercise. When it comes to athletes, cryogenic therapy transforms the body’s post-workout recovery process from 48 hours to three minutes, making it a truly valuable technique.

How Cold Are the Cryogenic Chambers?
The low temperatures that the body is exposed to in a cryogenic chamber is usually what most first-timers find off-putting. The chambers usually drop to a temperature somewhere between -200 °F and -240 °F, with the average skin temperature dropping to 50 °F. While this may seem unnaturally cold, the body’s core temperature does not change throughout the treatment, and while it may drop slightly after exiting the chamber, your core temperature will usually stay consistent.

While cryogenic therapy has been around for a while, the ways in which it can provide pain relief along with a whole host of other benefits are only now being properly understood. If you live in a major city, you are likely to easily be able to find spas and clinics that offer cryogenic therapy, and it is definitely an avenue well worth exploring if you have been struggling with one of the health issues mentioned above.

Breathing Tricks to Put You to Sleep in No Time – OROGOLD Reviews

In addition to causing some serious medical problems, including obesity, diabetes and a shorter life expectancy, a lack of sleep each night also results in dull, unhealthy skin. However, with all the technology that we are likely to have in our bedroom, plus the stresses of everyday modern life, turning our minds off each night to go to sleep can often be difficult. Rather than tossing and turning for hours each night, or even turning to medication, OROGOLD brings you some breathing tricks to try, that will have you fast asleep in no time at all.

Woman practicing pranayama before going to bed.

The 4-7-8 Technique
The 4-7-8 technique is a relaxing breathing exercise that is based on the ancient Indian practice, Pranayama. In addition to helping you fall asleep, you will notice other great changes in your body if you practice the technique every day, such as a decrease in anger and food cravings, improved digestion and lower stress levels. To begin with, press the tip of your tongue onto the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth, closing your mouth but maintaining that position with your tongue. Inhale slowly and quietly through your nose for 4 mental counts, and then hold your breath for 7 counts. Then, exhale completely from the mouth, around your tongue, for 8 counts. This counts as one breath. Repeat this 3 more times, so that you have done 4 cycles in total, and you should then notice a more relaxed state of mind. This form of slow, voluntary breathing has been proven to help to reset the nervous system, and also helps to clear the mind, being, in a way, another version of counting sheep.

Woman meditating on her bed.

Meditative Breathing
If you find that the main reason you find it difficult to fall asleep each night is because your mind just can’t seem to slow down, it may be time to take a few tips from meditation techniques. When it comes to clearing your mind for meditation, connecting with the rise and fall of each breath, and feeling where each breath flows in the body, is essential. Try this in bed at night, fully focussing on each breath, as this will relax any tense muscles, as well as help you to let go with any negative thoughts or stresses as you focus on exhaling each breath. Try to do this for 8 to 10 minutes each night in order to fully benefit from it.

Woman trying to sleep.

Breathe Through Your Nose
Many people find it more comfortable to breathe through their mouths at night, but this does not lead to the best sleep. Breathing through your mouth sends subconscious signals to your brain that your body is in distress, meaning that your mind will not be able to fully relax. However, breathing through your nose sends signals of homeostasis and relaxation to your brain, ideal for helping you to fall asleep much faster.

OROGOLD highly recommends taking the time to solve any sleep problems, as sleep deprivation can have severe consequences. Breathing and yoga exercises have been proven to relax the body and mind, and by practicing them on a regular basis, you will not only solve your sleep problems, but will also be able to reduce the overall stress levels in your body.

How to Feel More Energetic – ORO GOLD Reviews

Group of energetic people jumping in the air

If you constantly feel tired and exhausted or you regularly suffer from a mid-afternoon slump then knowing how to increase your energy levels can really help you to feel more active. If you want to know the best ways to feel more energetic then read on for OROGOLD’s top tips.

Eat healthy

Eating healthy foods will help to increase your energy levels. Make sure you include lots of vegetables, fruit and whole grains into your diet as these foods are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre which help to control blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller for longer. Try to limit your consumption of sugar and high fat processed foods as these contain no nutritional value and can cause your energy levels to quickly drop leaving you feeling lethargic. Eating regular meals and snacks will also help to maintain your energy levels.

Drink water

The recommended amount of water that adults should drink is at least eight glasses every day in order to stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day will help to maintain your hydration levels and help to increase your energy levels. Those who don’t drink enough water often suffer with tiredness, fatigue and headaches, so keeping hydrated is extremely important for good health.

If you regularly exercise, make sure you drink enough water to replace moisture lost from perspiration. It’s also best to limit alcoholic drinks as these can cause you to feel dehydrated and tired.

Exercise

Exercising regularly will help to boost your energy levels. Try to stick to a workout schedule in order to maintain your energy levels. You don’t have to partake in rigorous exercise as many activities, such as light swimming and yoga have shown to relieve fatigue and tiredness.

Get outside

Getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air will help you to feel refreshed. Walking is also great exercise as it helps to boost energy levels. If it’s a nice day, why not try walking or even cycling to work instead of using public transport.

Sleep

Getting at least 8 hours of sleep will help you to feel fresh and alert. Not getting enough sleep can cause headaches, drowsiness and fatigue so making sure you get into a routine of sleeping 8 hours will really help to boost your energy levels. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, try taking a relaxing bath before going to bed, using a lavender spray or balm on your pillow and shutting off your television and phone before going to sleep.

Don’t get stressed

Feeling stressed can cause anxiety, ill health and low energy levels. To help relieve stress, try taking deep breaths, going for a walk or going for a swim. Socializing with friends and loved ones is also a good stress reliever too. Aromatherapy, massage and acupuncture can all help to restore calmness in your life and restore energy levels.