Health


Healthy and Beauty

Having a healthy life does not always have to be difficult. But keeping track of proper eating habits, healthy foods, and physical activity can be cumbersome. If a workout sounds too exhausting due to hours after hours of work, a massage can be good idea to relieve muscle tensions and stimulate relaxation.  A massage is not always expensive, because you can actually do this on your own with the help of self-massaging tools. If you are often outdoors or due to seasonal climate changes you may also have skin issues.  Issues can be due to continuous exposure to air pollutants and/or direct sunlight. You can apply protective layers such as moisturizer or even drink supplements to make sure you have sufficient nutrients to rejuvenate skin and maintain health.

Self-Massage

Massages work by triggering a relaxation response, and this is why it feels comfortable. Massage puts pressure on muscles, tendons, and ligaments to relieve tensions and decrease blood pressure. In a relaxed body, there is fewer stress hormones, while serotonin levels are elevated. Since blood flows more freely across the body, distribution of oxygen and nutrients is improved. With better blood circulation, all parts of the body receive the needed nutrients to reduce pain, swelling, and generally to function properly.

Massage is good for the body, but the cost of a professional massage can be quite expensive, and this is where a self-massage tool comes in. There are many massage tools available on market; one of the most common and easiest to use is the massage stick. In some ways, it looks like a kitchen rolling pin, but the size and shape are designed to work on muscle tissue instead of a pile of dough. A massage stick is operated by hand and rolled on the parts of the body or muscles you want to treat. There is no additional equipment or any specific skills required.

You can use it while you are standing, sitting, kneeling, or even lying in bed. Because you use the tool on your own, you have full control on how much pressure to give, which specific spot to treat, and how long the massage should be. Many models are available with different length, stiffness, and shapes.  Take one on travel with you and to training or events.

Moisturizers

Besides sore muscles, dry skin is another common problem you get from prolonged work under unfriendly pollution, weather, or temperature. Moisturizers contain humectants that attract and retain water in the skin. To enhance its benefits, some of them also have emollients blended with emulsified oils to create barrier against irritants. Between every cell in the outer layer of the skin, there are lipids and sebum; they give the skin its plump and fresh looks. As we age, sebum and lipids grow less effective, leading to dry dull skin. Moisturizers refill the empty spaces by continuously rehydrating the skin. By keeping the skin hydrated, skin texture is improved and it does not feel itchy or dry.

Despite the great benefits, some moisturizers can be harmful particularly when they are made from chemical-based ingredients. Long-term use will cause further damages to skin, and it may cost more to bring it back. When using moisturizers please use one made from food grade and FDA-approved ingredients. Some good signs of healthy effective moisturizers are:

 

  • Hypoallergenic and non-greasy
  • Colorant and fragrant free
  • Petrochemical and Paraben free
  • Does not clog pores
  • Manufactured using solar power (not always necessary, but it means the product is eco-friendly)
  • Organic materials (best materials, but food grade non-organic is still acceptable)

 

Supplements

When you think you do not get enough balanced nutrients from your meals, supplements may help to improve health and rejuvenate skin. Supplements are not meant to replace your entire diet, but it can be good for those who need additional supply of nutrients. You may despise supplements and think they are just a waste of money, but the following facts may alter your opinions:

 

  • Modern agriculture techniques use chemical fertilizers and pesticides, causing the food grown in the process to have deficiencies in nutrients.
  • Some foods are shipped through long-distance and stored for quite long periods. Both lead to depletion of vitamins. The label on the packaging may not be very accurate after all.
  • Processed foods and preservation also cause nutrient depletion.
  • Many types of fruits and vegetables are grown to yield more results and improve visual appearance rather than nutritional values.
  • Some habits such as eating in a hurry or insufficient chewing make it more difficult for the body to absorb all nutrients the food provides.
  • Increasing level of pollutants in air and contaminants in water force your body to work harder to fight diseases; to do that, you need more nutrients.

 

However, every person has different needs depending on any underlying health conditions and environments in which they live. Supplements are not free, so if you decide to take them, make sure you get the best quality. Before you rush and buy supplements, consider these factors:

 

  • Labels: read the labels carefully before making a purchase. They can tell you what ingredients are used, serving size recommended, and the amount of nutrients provided. Choose one that contains the nutrients you need.
  • Overdose: good supplements are those that provide 100% of DV (Daily Value) of all vitamins and minerals. Some products offer up to 500% of DV of certain vitamins only, but only 20% of other nutrients; these are not ideal.
  • Expiration dates: similar to foods, supplements have expiration dates. In humid and hot environment, supplements can lose potency even faster. If you see any supplements that have no expiration date, you may not want to buy them.
  • Eat properly: supplements are additional foods, so you still have to eat properly. Some products such as breakfast cereals and beverages already have additional vitamins and minerals; they are supplements contained in foods. If you still take supplements, you raise the risk of side effects because you take more than you need.  Always consult a doctor.