Tips for Health

Steph

Tips for growing healthy, tasty berries

By on November 6, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

These days, more and more of us are attempting to grow our own fruit and veg. Berries are a brilliant choice for the former, and I recently gave cultivating strawberries a go. It turns out that, compared to other berries, strawberries are pretty tricky, so after a bit of research I’ve found a couple that are much simpler.

Raspberries and blueberries are both far easier for novice gardeners, with the latter being particularly convenient for those us with small (or virtually non-existent!) gardens. I’ve put together some key tips for growing each, so there’s no excuse not to try it!

Blueberries

If you’re a bit short of space, blueberries are a great fruit to grow because they work well in containers. Plus, they’re not too heavy on the maintenance front, which is good news for newcomers to gardening!

The first thing to bear in mind is that, while the berries are easy to grow, the kind of soil you use is pretty important. Blueberries need a pH of between 4 and 5.5; if the soil in your garden doesn’t fit this description or if you’re simply unsure how to tell, it’s well worth planting your berries in a pot with ericaceous compost, just to be on the safe side.

Blueberries need a lot of sun, so try to position them away from shady areas, and you should plant them in autumn or winter, aiming to water them with rainwater if possible. If it’s not, tap water will do, but this can make the soil less acidic over time, which means you might not get as good yields.

Another good thing about blueberries is that you don’t need to do much pruning, especially for the first two or three years you have them. After that, they can produce less fruit if you don’t prune, so try to do it reasonably regularly.

And when can you eat the fruits of your labour (sorry about the pun!), you ask? Generally speaking, they are ready to pick when they are a deep shade of blue.

Raspberries

Another easy fruit to grow, raspberries do require a little more kit than blueberries. So, if you’ve got things like canes and such stacked up in your shed, now’s the time to get them out. On that note, if you are just starting out with gardening and you fancy finding out a bit more about the various storage options available, you can do so here.

There are lots of different varieties of raspberry, but they key choice you’ll need to make is whether to grow summer-fruiting or autumn-fruiting species. The latter are usually considered to be much simpler, since they grow and fruit in the same season and are typically hardier come winter, so I’d focus on those.

Purchase some raspberry canes and plant them in the autumn, around 40 cm apart from each other. You’ll usually find there’s a mark on the stem where they previously sat in the soil, so do your best to plant them to the same depth.

The plants require some support – which is where your trusty canes come in – so it’s good to use these from the outset. The following autumn, the fruit is ready to be picked when it’s firm, and it’s best to do so regularly. You can then prune in the winter, leaving the canes ready to fruit again the following year.

Design Your Office Creatively to Improve Motivation and Productivity

By on October 11, 2012 in Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Gone are the days when offices were places where one strictly just worked for the designated number of hours and then simply punched his card out and went home to relax. Modern offices and business have become a bit different and no longer are the interiors of an office purely designed for work and work alone.

While that might not the case everywhere, it certainly seems to be the growing trend which is catching up fast as the corporate sector is starting to realize that more conducive and relaxing work environment will help increase productivity and keep up employee morale.

The trend might have started with the software giants like Google and Microsoft, but many businesses are now hiring experts to custom design office interiors which will help in keeping the employees in a good spirit.

Various surveys have shown that an individual placed in a relaxed and stimulating environment that suits his own taste is likely to work far better, faster and come up with more creative ideas than those who continue to spend all day long in the same old boring cubicles.

And since output is pretty much the bottom-line, firms are now willing to go along with the new trend happily.

Office interior design that incorporates fun features which vary from game rooms that have pool and foosball tables to ones that sport the latest Xbox and PS3 titles, to one that use techniques like Feng Shui and aesthetic art are now giving those who work in them a vibrant and inspiring setting that helps them perform better.

The technique also seems to improve team work as social interaction within the office seems to grow thanks to these new office designs.

Coming up with office interiors is no longer a simple matter of placing cubicles and boxes as the new movement demands a unique solution for every firm that fits its own particular needs and environment. A scenario in which both corporate owners and designers need to remember that there is no ‘one-fit-all’ solution and that employee input is vital.

A School Like No Other …

By on October 9, 2012 in Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Children too need creativity to flourish! This is what the creative peeps at Baupiloten Studio have come up as they went about  building a room with armchairs like fire and flowers at this school in Berlin. You need to enter the room through a mouse hole that is only 1m large.

The color and design look like actually they support learning and creativity … exactly what our little ones need.

Why don’t we see more often schools like this one!

Find Your Dream Home – I Just Did!

By on October 7, 2012 in Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Located in the northern suburbs of London, this large Victorian house has all what I dream for my future home. There is many an aspect that has got me watch in awe here. Here they are:

  • A beautiful open kitchen overlooking the terrace, modern style with subway tiles on the wall but a bit retro with beautiful island wood
  • A beautiful dark wood flooring in various colors that give a cozy touch to the living room and bedroom,
  • Large windows with rounded edges that form a nice alcove to place a beautiful and méridenne able to read in the light of day,
  • A double bed that exudes French vintage feminine touch,
  • Interior shutters that dress very nicely the windows of the house and create an atmosphere of little cocoon,
  • A huge bathroom bathed in light!

How does your dream home look like?

Sprinklers Now Compulsory for New South Wales Nursing Homes

By on August 17, 2012 in Business, Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Every residential nursing home and care center in New South Wales now must have a competent and well-functioning sprinkler system in place by 2016, at the farthest, to ensure that it still continues to offer its services.

That is pretty much what the latest legislation mandates and it is a move that has been welcomed by many, not just across the country, but also across the globe.

There is no doubt that every individual who is being cared for in a nursing home deserves the best safety facilities that can be possibly provided and having an able sprinkler system to deal with fire hazards definitely should have been mandatory long time back.

The new mandatory sprinklers rule was brought about after state authorities found that about 55 percent of the existing nursing homes did not have any such system in place. And the government has asked care centers to install fire safety systems and sprinklers within 18 months and if that is not possible due to financial constraints, then the deadline will be extended to 2016, with periodical reviews.

While safety experts and ordinary citizens welcome the initiative, many of the care homes are understandably worried. While they too would like to provide every safety measure possible, the growing costs of running care homes along with the lack of sufficient government funds might mean that many of them might even have to close down a year or two down the line, thanks to the new rule.

Considering the nature of those living in care homes and how quickly fire hazards can lead to dangerous situations, the government feels at this point that compromising on the issue might lead to serious consequences. Hence it is better to enforce the new regulation than to back down due to fiscal concerns.

Choosing Right Multivitamins is Essential for Your Health

By on August 3, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

One of the most prevalent fads about multivitamins is that you can just pop a few of these pills and that they will cover you for simply every possible diet deficiency that you might harbor.

No matter what the ad on the television set says and what the sales guy tells you while making the pitch, there is absolutely no single ‘magic pill’’ out there which you can consume and then neglect the rest of your diet. An unbalanced and poor diet will eventually catch up, irrespective of what multivitamins you use and at what dosage.

But, moving forward considering that you do take care of your diet and lead a healthy lifestyle, there is still a necessity for a multivitamin supplement, as a normal diet might miss out on essential and complete vitamin and mineral content. This is especially true in case of those who stick to a vegetarian diet.

That said, unnecessary and excess use of multivitamins or a heavy cocktail can be  harmful for health and most often money spent on that goes down the drain, quite literally! (Since, the body simply rejects the excess as waste).

To get the results you need, your multivitamins must hit the regions that your diet is missing. Someone who does not consume dairy products must beef up on calcium content, while vital minerals like zinc are most often required for all. Pick a pill that is suited to your age group and demographic.

There are wide varieties of multivitamins out there and each of them is tuned to certain section of population. Kids, teenagers, women and elderly, all need different mineral and vitamin intake and hence a different pill to fill the gap in their diet.

While men should keep an eye out for Vitamins, women most often need iron-rich pills and folic acid to ensure their body functions well. But there is no one magic pill that works for all and the best way to move forward is to contact a reliable physician or dietician that you trust, who will analyze your lifestyle and suggest the necessary multivitamin dosage.

Top 5 Interesting Facts About Oxygen Therapy

By on July 30, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

Oxygen therapy has become commonplace in combating the symptoms of a number of medical conditions, as well as being used to improve general well being. It is a simple and natural treatment that almost anyone can benefit from, whether they are seriously ill or just need a pick-me-up.

The aim of oxygen therapy is to provide patients with extra oxygen. Most people get all they need from the air, which contains 21 per cent oxygen, but there are a number of reasons why some individuals may need more.

At a day-to-day level, the air people breathe may be polluted or have high levels of ozone, which can lead to a shortage of oxygen that causes migraines, stress and fatigue. Should you have a respiratory condition, it may be that the illness prevents you getting enough of this vital element.

Inhaling pure oxygen will increase the amount of it that reaches the lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream. This helps the body to function better, as well as delay the cell-ageing process, thus having a positive impact on the immune system, giving the patient more energy and decreasing shortness of breath.

Illness

One of the most amazing aspects about oxygen therapy is just how many serious medical conditions it can be used to treat. It won’t surprise you to learn it can be really effective for anyone with respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and asthma. Not only can it alleviate the symptoms, it can also allow some patients the freedom to be treated at home instead of being restricted to a hospital bed.

It is often used in medical emergencies, for everything from resuscitation to anaphylaxis and hypothermia. Some patients have also found it useful in recovering  from serious problems, such as heart surgery or cancer, as having pure oxygen available to inhale gives them a simple way to boost their energy levels and cope with sudden breathlessness.

How to take oxygen

Oxygen therapy can be administered in a number of ways, including through a mask that fits over the nose and mouth, via a nasal cannula and, in extreme cases, by having a small tube inserted in an incision in the windpipe.

However, taking oxygen at home does not have to be such an intrusive process. It is usually as simple as fixing an inhalation cap to the canister and taking eight to ten breaths through it.

Sleep disorders

One of the major uses of oxygen therapy is to combat sleep disorders. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) sees the muscles and tissue in the throat relax to block the airway and prevent the sufferer getting sufficient oxygen.

This causes them to come out of deep sleep into a light sleep and even awake for a brief period. As this can happen more than once a minute during the night, it is easy to understand why people with the problem often experience extreme tiredness and poor concentration levels during the day.

Perhaps the most effective way to deal with OSA is not drugs, but oxygen. Using a continuous positive airway pressure machine – which involves wearing a breathing mask while asleep – to ensure ongoing delivery of oxygen will help the sufferer get a better night’s sleep and reduce their blood pressure.

Improved sporting performance

Oxygen therapy is not just for the nasty things in life; it can also help to improve sporting performance and the effectiveness of keep-fit programmes. Academic studies have shown inhaling pure oxygen during and after workouts results in better performance levels, shorter recovery times and greater weight loss.

Hangover cure

Inhaling pure oxygen can also be an effective cure for a hangover and certainly one that is healthier than a fry-up. An increased supply of oxygen helps speed up the metabolic rate, which means toxins are broken down more quickly – and your headache and fatigue should disappear sooner.

LASIK Surgery a Lot Safer than Using Contacts in the Long-Term

By on July 28, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments

It was not long ago when people thought allowing a surgeon to use Laser technology in the correction of visual defects was a bit extreme and mostly unnecessary.  But with advances in technology, better training, leading eye doctors and collected data, it has been suggested that a corrective eye surgery might be a lot safer than wearing contacts over a long period of time.

Studies published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology now conclude that a procedure like LASIK might be a far safer bet than wearing contact lenses for number of years. Data suggests that one in 100 among daily contact lens wearers are in risk of developing a serious lens-related infection, while one in 2000 developed infections that led to significant vision loss.

That number is less than one in 10,000 for those who chose surgical correction.

The data seems to not just suggest that surgery is the better option (and definitely far more convenient, as you will not have to put in lenses everyday), but it also tells how most of us who do use contacts end up making mistakes at some point of time.

Ophthalmologists suggest that it is understandable as the ones who do use contacts for several ears either forget to clean them properly or at times use tap water to store them. This, along with a growing trend of leaving them on while sleeping, leads to serious infections.

With rapid advances in Laser technology and growing expertise when it comes to using them in the right fashion, the risks involved with a surgery like LASIK have come down drastically in the last few years.

That scenario is only likely to improve and risks cut down further with each passing day, as more and more opt for Laser eye surgery in London, New York, Melbourne and other cosmopolitan hubs across the globe, will improve both the technical knowledge and technological means. Going by factors like safety, long-term health and simply convenience, LASIK certainly trumps contacts for those who wish to get rid of vision defects permanently.

How to Choose the Right Medical Courier Services

By on July 23, 2012 in Business with 0 Comments

While often the little troubles and the mundane stuff in our lives seem like the biggest problems in the world, one realizes that all of them are just a storm in the tea cup when hit by a health situation. Not that you wish it upon anyone, but they help you realize the value of the health sector and the services they provide. And speed, along with the time factor are critical in this line of work.

And when choosing a medical courier, one needs to keep this in mind along with a few other simple, but essential requirements. These are often a tad bit different from regular courier needs, but pretty easy to identify.

Here are five pointers that will help you in making this crucial choice.

Pace counts

Speed, as we told you earlier, is an absolute must. You need a courier service that will deliver package quickly and on absolute marked time. Often, that could very well mean the difference between life and death. Considering that the thing at stake here is not just another article, one must be ultra-careful indeed.

Finding the right location

Pick a courier service that is very familiar with the drop off location, or has a record of delivering to the right address almost every single time. At times, medical samples need to reach testing labs in the exact time and otherwise are as good as useless. While speed ensures this, finding the lesser known locations easily helps too.

Proximity to your health center

A medical courier service needs to be as close to your health center as possible. Anything that is too far away means wastage of time in the pickup and delivery process and when every single second counts; luxury of one that is long way away is not an option.

Immediate delivery and international access

Pick a courier service that has the facility of special immediate delivery services, which mean that they ship as soon as you send them in. Also enquire about their international access as health services often involve couriers across the border. While there are plenty of courier services international ones that offer quality and precise delivery are few.

Wide network

Prefer a courier service provider that sports a large fleet, is reputable and has a wide and established network with plenty of pickup and delivery points. This definitely helps in quality services, even if they are a tad bit expensive.

Beautiful Gift Ideas for Your Parents

By on July 8, 2012 in Lifestyle with 0 Comments

Your parents have just stepped into their 40th year of existence, and you want to make the occasion memorable. What do you do? Obviously, you would think of gifting them with something unique and good.

If you tend to think simple, let us tell you that people with a sweet tooth would be overjoyed to get a box of 40 assorted chocolates on their birthday. They needn’t be always bought from the shop, as home made chocolates are also extremely desired and really make for great 40th birthday presents.

Who doesn’t love to take a break from the toils of work and spend some time to take a breath of fresh air? Taking a long vacation or a cruise holiday would be perfect, to enjoy time with dear and near ones and fully immerse them in the beauty of nature.

That too all this on a birthday, would be nothing less than magnificent.

An Apple iPod, to listen to songs while hitting the gym or when going for a jog does qualify as a good birthday gift.

A lady of 40 would have the heart of a 20 year old and would still adore good bags, shoes and other accessories. So getting her something of that sort, would make her glad.

Who doesn’t love to look good! A small make up kit, containing all the essential items could be given as a gift. Elegant jewelry is something most women of forty would look forward to. They would be happy to get something that is tasteful and stately.

Men would love to get higher end pens like Waterman, Cross and the like or watches that make them look sophisticated and honorable.

So, what are your picks as the 40th birthday presents for your parents and other people close to your heart?

7 Easy Tips For a Healthy Tan

By on July 6, 2012 in Prevention with 0 Comments

The idea that a tan will help reduce skin damage when you are out in the sun the next time is simply a myth. While a good tan looks great and gives you that even tone, it takes both care and use of the right products to ensure that your tanning trips do not turn into precursors for skin cancer a few years down the line. Here are a few ways to get a healthy tan that allows you to keep away the risk of cancer, while still giving you the look you want.

Use a quality sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
Never skip on the sunscreen while you are at the beach and ensure that you use one that is marked SPF 30 or higher. That ensures that you are protected from UV rays even on those days when the beach is a bit too hot to handle.

Prefer a broad spectrum sunscreen
Use a sunscreen that covers all the harmful rays which are a part of the spectrum of sunlight. This will offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays and will keep your skin safe while you are having a good time outside.

Use enough Sunscreen and use it everyday
The idea that you slap on some sunscreen only when you hit the beach or spend a long day outside is not entirely safe. Research has shown that your skin responds better to its usage and stays more protected if you use it regularly and enough of it.

Stylish hat and cool shades
How about getting a tan and looking great while doing so as well? Pick up a hat that protects you sufficiently from the sun and ensure that its fabric is not too thin. Use 100% UV-proof wraparound shades as well, to ensure that your eyes stay safe while you get a glowing tan.

Quality Tanning equipment
Use quality tanning equipment that is both relatively safe and is of high standard. Do not spend time on the mediocre tanning beds under artificial UV light for long. While few artificial tanning gear are fine, nothing beats the quality time under the sun.

Put away the tanning pills
Tanning pills are probably the worst way to get a tan and while they do give the result, putting something in your system just to get a bit of tan is not advisable one bit, according to experts world over.

Slap on some sunblock after a swim
Use proper amounts of sunscreen after every swim and clean yourself up good before you put it on. Water reduces the protection offered by sunblock and hence apply it on dry skin once again. If you are spending a lot of time in the water it is advisable to take a break once every couple of hours for reapplication of sunblock.

Skin regime: What’s the right order?

By on May 14, 2012 in Prevention with 0 Comments

Everyone wants to feel good about their skin, although for many of us our skincare routine seems to have little effect on its condition. Do you take care of your skin with cleansers, moisturisers, toners, serums and sunscreen?

If your skin never seems to be in perfect condition afterwards, it might be because you aren’t applying them in the correct sequence. It’s an easy mistake to make, because like anything; from getting Aviva Life insurance to buying a car, if you don’t do the research, you’ll never know for sure.

Here are the steps you ought to take:

Morning routine

1) Cleanse and tone – These two should always go on straight after washing your face, to prepare your skin for treatments and make-up.

2) Treatments and moisturising – If you use any serums and anti wrinkle creams, they should be applied next to clean skin, and given five minutes to soak into your skin. Only apply moisturiser once the serum is absorbed.

3) Sunscreen – Many people don’t bother to use sunscreen, but you should, even in the winter, to protect your skin from Mother Nature. Some day moisturisers have SPF protection.

Evening routine

After washing away the residual make-up and grime from the day you should:

1) Cleanse and tone – It might be an idea to try different cleansers until you find one that’s suitable for your skin.

2) Treatments – Any night serums, gels and creams meant for treating skin should be applied now. Allow 10 minutes to soak.

3) Moisturising – Eye cream is applied next, before you apply your night time moisturiser.

Additional

You need to maintain your skins freshness by exfoliating at least once a week. Twice if you can. Hydrating masks should be applied once a week, on a day you don’t exfoliate.

Hopefully this has cleared up the confusion. Within a few weeks you’ll notice a vast improvement in the condition of your skin.

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