Hosting a weekly podcast on happiness & health has given me the opportunity to interview a number of super cool qualified people in the health arena.
As such, I’ve quickly established proven health boosters that I’m happy to share with you now.
In no particular order, I comment as follows:
Poor posture leads to bad back, neck pain, rounded shoulders, RSI, lack of concentration, poor digestion, varicose veins, sore muscles, trapped nerves and fatigue.
So, I asked Chiropractor Rosie Piercy of Total Chiro UK for advice tips on improving posture whilst working.
- Make sure your desk is set up correctly.
The top of laptop screen/ monitor should be at eye level and you should be able to touch it with an out stretched arm. The screen should be no closer or further away from you than that.
When sitting at your desk your hands should drop easily on to your keyboard and mouse. If you are having to hold your arms up or they are dropping below horizontal – change your desk or chair height.
Keep your feet on the floor or on a foot rest if you cannot reach the floor. Do not rest your feet on chair legs, or underneath you and do not cross your legs.
- If you are using a laptop use it with a separate riser and keyboard and mouse.
This helps it get closer to the correct height.
- Get up and move.
No matter how good your posture is, sitting for prolonged periods is not good for your muscle and joints or your general health. So, set an alarm to go off every 25 minutes and get up and walk around for a few minutes before returning to your desk.
- Filter Your Drinking Water
Ignore what everyone says (I’m thinking of my dad), filtering tap water is necessary.
Tap water does contain hidden nasties.
Yes, tap water is safe to drink, of course it is. But it still contains chlorine. Although chlorine kills bacteria, did you know it’s also been directly linked to cancer? This is not a random unproved fact, there is scientific evidence and I link to that here. So why is chlorine is still used?
Because it’s the cheapest way to disinfect water.
So, what can you do?
Until chlorine is actively removed from our water supply, the best thing to do is get a water filtration system that treats all the water entering your home. However, if this is not viable, simple go and buy a filter for your drinking water. Britta for example.
Read this article from MindBodyGreen for more information.
- Skin Brushing
We all know that the skin is the largest organ in the body. But did you know it’s also responsible for one-fourth of the body’s daily detoxification? When you skin brush, you help your lymph system to clean itself of the toxins that collect in the lymph glands.
Yes, I know the human body has a perfectly good exhaust system, but unfortunately our bodies haven’t evolved as quickly as the artificial chemicals that now swirl around planet earth, so our natural exhaust system needs help.
So, what are the benefits of skin brushing?
- Improves vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.
- Can help reduce cellulite by assisting with the breakdown of unwanted toxins.
- Removes dead skin cells.
- Helps wakes you up.
All you need to buy is a natural bristle bush and go for it. You don’t even need to use an exfoliator if you don’t want too.
Big tip is to brush towards your heart, so if you’re brushing your legs, start from your ankles and brush upwards.
- Cold Showers
One of my personal favourites for when I’m feeling sleepy and need to be more alert is to jump into a cold shower.
Trust me, it wakes you up!
However, there are other benefits of a cold shower:
- Improves circulation by sending blood down to your organs to keep them warm.
- Helps drain the lymphatic system when alternated with hot water. When blasted with cold water the body’s lymph vessels contract and then expand when blasted with warm water. This has the effect of pumping out fluid that may have stagnated in your lymph vessels.
- Boosts immunity by increasing the amount of white blood cells (compared to hot showers). The investigators at Thrombosis Research Institute say that as the body tries to warm itself during and after the shower, the metabolism speeds up and activates the immune system.
- Ditch Scented Candles
I hate to break it to you, but your scented candles are toxic.
A majority of mass produced candles are made from paraffin wax which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burnt. These are the same toxins released from diesel fumes!
Additionally, the wicks of many candles contain heavy metals like lead.
A candle with a lead wick releases approximately five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children. Exposure to high amounts of lead has been linked to hormone problems, behavioural problems and other health issues.
The best alternative is to use either bee wax candles which can also help to purify indoor air by emitting negative ions OR buy pure essential oils and use a diffuser.
- Epsom bath salts
Epsom bath salts have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Epsom salts are tiny minerals of magnesium sulphate that incidentally, a majority of us are lacking in. By bathing in a warm epsom bath, the salts are absorbed into your body where they immediately go to work assisting with stress relief, achy muscles, bloating, inflammation and regulate blood sugar levels.
All the Health Experts I’ve interviewed have told me to use Epsom bath salts. Every single one.
Be careful when you buy them though, make sure you source pure epsom salts. Some manufactures fill out the salts with nasty stuff.
- Increase Vitamin D
If you live in the UK, then it’s extremely likely you will be Vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin.
Basically, when our bodies receive Vitamin D it converts it into a hormone which is called Activated Vitamin D or Calcitriol which primarily helps with bones, teeth and muscles. But Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce depression, aid with weight loss, helps with fertility, prevent breast cancer (70% of women with breast cancer are vitamin D deficient) and generally boosts our immune systems by supporting the “killer cells” of our immune systems.
Ideally, we should be getting our Vitamin D from our diet and sunshine exposure, but sadly this is not always possible, therefore the NHS recommends that adults and children over the age of one should consider taking a good quality supplement containing 10 mcg of vitamin D, particularly in darker months.
- House Plants
In the late 1980’s NASA studied house plants as a way to purify the air in space facilities and they concluded that several house plants filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Your home and your office can’t be compared to a spaceship, but I can confirm that indoor air quality has been ranked one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Basically, living and working in environments with a lack of ventilation, with chemical paints, toxic cleaning materials, fire retardants etc can lead to poor air quality.
The good news is that common house plants are quick, easy and affordable way to cleanse the air in your home and office. According to NASA, plants are “nature’s life support system.”
Additional to carbon dioxide absorption, plants can absorb VOCs by absorbing the gases through their leaves and roots. The microorganisms that live in the soil also play a vital role in this.
The plants heroes are:
- Florist’s Mum
- Peace Lilly
- Spider Plant
- Weeping Fig
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
- Bamboo Plant
- Ficus / Weeping Fig
- Wash Your Sheets
If you don’t wash your sheets at least weekly and at least on 60 degrees you are putting yourself at risk of serious viruses and infections. If you think logically about this, you spend approximately 49 hours per week in bed (assuming 7 hours sleep per night) and let’s be honest, we are up close and personal with our sheets!
Add in outside contaminants: pets, dirty clothes, dirty documents, electronics, human drool…….
It’s not pleasant to think about.
We have lots of bacteria and fungi on our bodies and most are safe, but if left to breed in our bedding, they can become dangerous. Common illnesses such as skin infections as well as many others can be caused from dirty bedding for example.
Wash your sheets weekly at 60 degrees or above.
- Ditch Vegetable Oils. NOW
I must admit, I hadn’t appreciated the toxicity of vegetable oils until I interviewed nutritional scientist Mark Bennett on my podcast. Listen here. Basically, vegetable oils are bad news. Both for your health and for the environment.
Aside from olive oils (cold drizzling only) and coconut oils, all other vegetable oils such as sunflower, peanut, soybean and rapeseed oils are extracted in an horrific way. I’m not exaggerating. They are heated to ridiculously high temperature (so they become rancid), processed with petroleum, heated some more, more chemicals are added to improve the colour and then a deodorant is added to mask the disgusting smell!
Put you off?
It doesn’t matter what the advertisers try to tell you about omegas and cholesterol benefits, the fact is, a majority of vegetable oils are toxic soups. Read this article to get the in depth “low down” on how bad they are.
So, what should you use to cook with? Anything that’s hard at room temperature is acceptable: butter, ghee, animal fats, coconut oil or lard.
You can drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil.
I hope this helped you.
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